Macau wants to attract more cultural tourism and is not afraid of competition from Taiwan in gaming sector

6 September 2010

Taipei, 6 Sept – Taiwan is finalising legislation to authorise construction of casinos on its outlying islands, but Macau is not afraid of competition and is now seeking more cultural tourism, a member of the Macau government said Friday.

The Macau Secretary of State for Social and Cultural Affairs, Cheong U, is the first member of the territory’s government to make an official visit to the island since administration of the territory was handed back to China in 1999, with the aim of attracting more visitors from the island and promoting cultural cooperation.

Commenting in Taipei on the potential negative impact on the Macau economy of Taiwan opening up casinos, Cheong U said that Macau, “does not fear competition and should, above all, do its job well.”

“The most important thing is to keep our level of service quality,” he said, noting that Macau was now focused on, “developing the creative industries and conventions and exhibitions, with the aim of making the region more attractive to tourists,” looking for more than gambling in the territory.

Saying that the “strategy of the Macau government for the development of tourism involves preserving, enriching and promoting the history and heritage of the region,” Cheong U noted that “promotion of tourism and cultural industries would support the sustainable development of the region.”

Diversification of the Macau economy, beyond gaming, which is the main source of the region’s revenues, is an aim of the local government, in line with recommendations from Beijing, which forbids gaming and gambling on the Chinese mainland, the main source of gamblers for the territory’s casinos.

The Macau government is organising a Cultural Week in Taipei, which will run until 10 September, with the aim of attracting more visitors from the island, said Cheong U, noting that his visit to Taiwan “is the start of bilateral cooperation, which is developing in a positive way and about which (the Macau government) is optimistic.” (macauhub)