Business / Industries

Macao investors fuel Hengqin island's tourism development

By ZHENG CAIXIONG ( Updated: 2015-06-12 15:30

Leisure companies that have turned the Macao special administrative region into an Asian entertainment destination are investing in the tourism sector on neighboring Hengqin island.

Part of the Zhuhai special economic zone of Guangdong province, Hengqin is close to the island of Macao and is located at the mouth of the Pearl River.

Niu Jing, director of the Administrative Committee of the Hengqin new area, reported that resort companies that operate on Macao have pumped 200 billion yuan into developing the tourism sector on Hengqin since WHEN, without revealing further details.

This has accounted for more than 53 percent of Hengqin's total development investment.

"Hengqin's top priority is to develop its tourism, entertainment, finance and logistics industries," Niu said on Thursday. "By doing this, it will also help Macao achieve its goal to become a world leisure and resort center in the future."

Already construction of a new theme park, which will cost more than 11 billion yuan ($1.77 billion), is due to start this year.

So far, more than 12 million tourists have visited the Chimeloong Ocean Theme Park, which was opened last year. That has boosted the tourism industry in the Zhuhai special economic zone, according to Niu.

Both Zhuhai and Guangdong authorities are now applying for 72-hour free visas for foreign tourists, who arrive in Hengqin from Hong Kong and Macao.

Mark Ao, a Macao businessman, believes there are tremendous commercial opportunities on Hengqin.

"In addition to its preferential policies in taxation, loans and commercial registration, most of the investors and business people from Macao see great growth potential on Hengqin," Ao told China Daily on Thursday.

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