In China, legislators have reportedly approved a plan that could see Hengqin Island transformed into a tourist-friendly zone complete with a range of innovative leisure and entertainment facilities.

Non-gaming novelties:

According to a recent report citing an April 9 notice from the giant country’s National Development and Reform Commission, the proposal was passed by China’s State Council in order to authorize the 37 square mile island to feature a plethora of new non-gaming facilities such as the existing Chimelong Paradise theme park.

Vicinity variance:

The Thursday report from GGRAsia stated that Hengqin Island is part of China’s Guangdong Province but is located just across the Shisanmen Waterway from Macau and that enclave’s over 30 casinos. The redevelopment proposal calls for the construction of multiple conference and exhibition facilities alongside medical and cruise ship venues in order to transform the entire area into a ‘tourism hub.’

Regional cooperation:

The Hengqin Island scheme also envisions the area playing a prominent role by 2035 in the larger region’s tourism industry and serving to complement the attractions already on offer in nearby Macau. The plan hopes to accomplish this goal via the creation of ‘multi-destination package trips’ with firms located in this city and the more distant Hong Kong.

Transportation improvements:

To facilitate this transformation, the plan recently approved by State Council reportedly appeals for links between Hengqin and the cities of Macau and Hong Kong to be improved by 2025. The small island is currently connected to Macau by a single six-lane bridge but legislators are purportedly hoping to eventually build additional such transportation infrastructure and make it easier for tourists to cross the existing border between the two areas.

Visa alleviation:

As such, Cheng Wai Tong, Deputy Director for the Macao Government Tourism Office, declared yesterday that the easing of visa formalities between Hengqin and his city will probably be needed in order to attract additional non-Chinese tourists.