Macau remains the biggest gambling hub in the world but has been asked by Beijing to stop relying on its casino industry as its major source of income and to diversify its revenue streams. Beijing has asked the Macau government to work at creating a new image, one that is more tourist and family friendly.
The Macau government has taken these instructions to heart and is now aggressively promoting Macau as a tourist destination. Macau has decided to focus on Indian market and attract more Indians to come and visit Macau’s popular places of attractions which include museums, shopping malls and adventure sports in addition to casinos. India has a population of close to 1.3 billion people and a vast majority of Indians in the 20’s-40’s are looking to travel to nearby holiday destinations and de-stress themselves from the fast-paced work life that is existent in India. Macau is looking to promote itself as the ‘Las Vegas of the East’ and expects a 4.8 percent growth from the Indian tourist market in 2015.
In a statement, Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Head of India Representative Arzan Khambatta said “Macau has been witnessing a 4.8 per cent growth year-on-year. We expect it to do much better this year. This is because Macau is a perfect destination for leisure as well as Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) activities.”
Indians will find it easy to gain access to Macau as it provides them with an ‘on-arrival-visa’. They will find it easy to fly to Hong Kong and then catch a ferry from within the Airport complex and head down to Macau. The ferry ride is about 45 minutes and from the ferry terminal they can take a taxi and head straight into Macau.
Macau was recently featured in Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 best travel regions in 2015. A number of Indians watch the Lonely Planet television show on the Discovery Channel and have also seen a glimpse of Macau when ‘No Reservations’, a popular TV show by Anthony Bourdain was telecast.
Indian tourists will be able to enjoy different types of cuisine such as Chinese, Malaya, Portuguese as well as Indian as there are number of top restaurants in Macau. Indian tourists will also be able to watch the popular ‘The House of Dancing Water’ or do a walking tour of Senado Square or try one of the tallest bungee jumps in the world.