Covid-19 has come as a wake-up call for many countries. Macau has been one such country that is now redrawing its economic plans to remove its excessive dependence on the gambling industry. The country is now focusing on providing a holistic tourist experience to visitors rather than only being considered as a hub for gambling activities.
The increasing number of coronavirus cases around the globe has affected the gambling industry in a big manner. Macau has been under the lockdown for quite some time, helping the country contain the spread of the virus; however, the impact of the gambling industry restrictions is very much apparent. The industry is on the downhill, and more importantly, there are little chances of revival in the coming time.
Keeping this in mind, the Macau Government has started working on an alternative plan of developing special traveling bubbles to facilitate visitors. The government authorities are already in talks with the Hong Kong and China’s provinces to ease the restrictions imposed on traveling. The negotiations are heading in the right direction, with China already announcing some relaxation in the traveling restrictions.
Urban Development Plans
The country is also pushing hard to in the Urban Development segment, with most of its activities aimed to expand into areas other than the gambling sphere. A draft regarding the new urban planning had already been released into the public domain by the Land, Public Works, and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) of the country. According to the draft proposal, licenses of the casinos will be renewed, and these gambling hubs will continue to remain part of the current urban areas. However, gambling will not be allowed in any new expansion of the urban areas. These new areas will be classified as Urban Tourism Zones. The areas in the north of Taipa will be developed as a hub for tourists, featuring leisure and entertainment activities.
In the wake of changed realities, Macau has done a commendable task of reorienting its economic outlook from only being dominated by the gambling industry to emerging as a holistic tourist destination. It is not an easy task and will require comprehensive efforts on the part of government, industry, and society at large. The country seems to be ready to take a leap of faith, and only time will tell how successful this effort turns out to be.