Macau aims to become the world’s tourism education and training hub as the city seeks new ways to attract tourists and reduce its reliance on the declining gaming sector.
Hosting the Fourth Global Tourism Economy Forum, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, which will enable the former Portuguese enclave to share its vast experience in the business to other countries and regions seeking to boost their tourism industries, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Macau is also seeking to forge ties with Latin American countries in the development of a new tourism economy under China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
Under the initiative, Macau will play a vital role as part of the South China transportation hub, Chief Executive Fernando Chui said.
Among the countries participating in the forum were Chile, Columbia, Mexico and Peru.
Pansy Ho Chiu-king, the forum’s vice chair, said Macau is undergoing economic restructuring, which seeks to bolster convention, entertainment, leisure and tourism segments other than gaming.
Amid the slump in the gaming industry, the city’s hotel occupancy rate has slid to about 60 to 70 percent from 90 percent over the past year, Ho said.
But she stressed that such a rate remains high compared with other tourism destinations worldwide.
Ho said Macau should focus more on the development on arts and culture, rather than building more theme parks, which are the main attractions of neighboring cities such as Hong Kong and Hengqin.
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