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Macao sees rising tourist footfalls from India

An increasing number of Indians are thronging this island nation famous for casinos, with 12 per cent growth being reported in January-April over the same period in 2018.

Government officials here attributed the rise in tourists from India, which has severe restrictions on gambling and related activities, to promotional efforts.

“We plan to continue to explore innovative campaigns and working closely with trade to help continue this momentum of growth in Indian arrivals,” Head of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Arzan Khambatta said.

Over 30,000 Indians visited the country adjoining mainland China in the first three months of the year.

Figures for April were not immediately available, but the officials said there has been 12 per cent growth in footfalls from India for the January-April period.

Macao had 14 million visitors from the world in January-April 2019.

The rise in arrivals is owing to the recently constructed 55-km Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge, the longest sea crossing bridge in the world, officials said.

As per the MGTO, Macao registered more than 35.8 million arrivals in 2018, an increase of 9.8 per cent compared to 2017.

“The newly launched cross-sea transportation infrastructure, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge, opened in October 2018, has attracted tourists, mostly day-trippers to Macao,” an official said.

The bridge connects Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai, three major cities on the Pearl River Delta, cutting the travel time between the three cities from four hours to 40 minutes.

As per government officials, the majority of Macao visitors are from the Chinese mainland (25 million).

To cater to the increasing number of tourists, several hotels like the Morpheus, MGM Cotai and The 13 Hotel began operations in 2018.

Some of the hotels that will open soon include the Grand Lisboa Palace, Palazzo Versace Macao and Karl Lagerfeld Hotel.

In addition to the traditional Portuguese and Chinese buildings and streetscapes, Macao is home to some spectacular modern hotel architecture like the Morpheus Hotel, Grand Lisboa, MGM Cotai, Parisian Macao and the Venetian.

The colourful Taipa village is famous for its pastel-coloured houses, shops and restaurants.

For street food, people throng the ‘Rua do Cunha’ street in Taipa village.

Bungee jumping from the 233-metre high Macau Tower draws adventure junkies, while others make do with the views available from the top.