Macau won’t become an “Asian version of Las Vegas” thanks to increased diversification away from gaming. That’s the view of SJM Holdings CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai, who told an investment conference in Beijing that the enclave has “followed a different track” to the Nevada gambling destination, when it comes to growth and change. Business Daily also quoted So as saying: “I foresee an evolution of Macau’s tourism brand – from today’s dominant features of casino resorts and heritage sites, to a destination associated with a diverse range of tourism and leisure activities and integrated to a greater degree with the surrounding region”.
So came out on the same day as a study from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) reported that Macau needs a “comprehensive master plan for tourism development”. Andrew Drysdale, chairman of the PATA taskforce appointed by the Macau Government Tourist Office, added that the report gives “practical suggestions” which will eventually help Macau become a “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure”. This includes advice on traffic network “perfection”, “business tourism”, “diversification of tourism products”, “marketing and branding of Macau”, and “fostering quality tourism”. PATA appointed six experts from a number of sectors to complete the study.
Macau and Russia have signed an agreement that will see a mutual exemption of visa requirements between the two. Under the agreement Macau passport holders will be exempt from a visa for a maximum 30 day stay with the same rule being in place the other way round. The deal was signed in Macau and means that residents of the enclave now have 101 countries or territories where a visa isn’t required or is automatically given upon arrival. There is currently no date for the agreement to start and it could begin immediately.