Unless you get enjoyment throwing money away at impossible odds in a garish and over-hyped atmosphere, Macau is not for you. Indeed, it could hardly be called a tourist destination in anyway. There is a report that China plans to turn Hengqin, note spelling which is tricky, a sparsely populated island next to Macau, into a tourist resort.
Officials told investors and developers in Hong Kong they want Hengqin’s population to go from 4,000 now to 200,000 by 2020 with resorts and villas, golf courses and software centers.
Fan Hengshan, director of the National Development and Reform Commission’s regional economy division, said, "This is a new creative model, to bring out the best features of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau." Which sounds as if it were written by a PR because it sounds impressive and means very little.
The plan for Hengqin — three times larger than Macau but with a fraction of its population — is aimed at drawing more tourists to an area with non-gambling activities.
Macau is the only city in China that allows casino gambling and it has overtaken Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenues, although there are those who believe the Chinese government will turn the tap off when it realizes how much black money is flowing out of China through that outlet.
AFP reports a Chinese firm is already building an RMB10 billion ($1.5 billion) resort on the island’s southern tip in a bid to attract more than 10 million visitors a year.
Courtney Davies, business development manager of architectural firm Arquitectonica, was quoted as saying, "Unlike Las Vegas, Macau is not a family place. Hengqin could offer other forms of tourism, like theme parks and hiking."