Tourism blueprint is good start but hurdles high

Macau’s tourism development masterplan, which aims to transform the VIP gaming hub into a mass market, diversified leisure destination, forecasts as many as 40 million tourists a year by 2015. The blueprint contains a clear vision of what the government wants for the future, with tourists staying longer and spending more on non-gaming activities. However, tourism industry experts say the current obstacles will be hard to overcome and as yet there is not a clear enough consensus between the government and industry as to what “brand” Macau should look like. The territory lacks affordable hotel rooms and many infrastructure improvements designed to improve transport and other bottlenecks have been consistently delayed. Macau Government Tourism Office Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes told local media that the Macau Tourism Industry Development Master Plan aims to boost the tourist industry by expanding the waterfront area and increasing the number of budget hotels. It aims...

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