Helena Fernandes, deputy head of Macau’s tourist office, told a news conference that Macau wants to attract more international visitors to reduce its reliance on Greater China. It hopes to do that partly by moving upmarket.
Tourism in Macau has been affected by a massive expansion of its gambling industry.
Revenues in Macau’s $15 billion gaming industry overtook those of Las Vegas in late 2006. Macau now has 29 casinos and more are on the way.
Last year almost 30 million people visited Macau, a year-on-year rise of more than one-fifth, but less than one-tenth came from outside of mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, and most did not stay overnight.
Tourism and gambling revenues make up more than half of Macau’s GDP.
The push to look past China was partially sparked by new restrictions on mainlanders visiting Macau, introduced last month to try and slow the territory’s galloping economy and over concerns too many Chinese officials were frittering money away in Macanese casinos.
Helena Fernandes said, ‘Obviously from a strategic point of view we feel this is a very good moment for us to not just pursue quantity but also to give a very good look at the quality of what we’re providing.’
Source: Yahoo News Asia