A greater number of business events are anticipated to be created in
the Guangdong-Macau In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin as more travel
visas for business events participants are issued. The region is an
administration that is jointly run by the Macau SAR government and the
Guangdong Provincial government to develop Henqin Island, next to the
city of Zhuhai.
Lawrence Ho, chairman & CEO of Melco Resorts and Entertainment,
saw opportunity in attracting a greater number of “globally influential”
sports events, meetings and exhibitions to Macau and co-hosting some of
them with Hengqin to promote “two-centre” activities.
An easing of visa issuance for these event-goers and a more
convenient “cross-border arrangement” should also be beneficial for
Macau and Hengqin to develop into a tourism “hotspot”.
Late last year, Sands China followed the “One Event, Two Places”
philosophy when it co-hosted the China (Macao) High-quality Consumption
Exhibition & Hengqin Global Bay Areas Forum (CHCE), a mixed
conference-exhibition business event in co-operation with the Nam Kwong
Group, a mainland state-owned conglomerate based in the Macau SAR. Part
of the conference programme was held in Hengqin, while the exhibition
element was held at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo. Six to eight MICE
events will adopt this new model in 2023 and more are expected in the
years to come.
Bruno Simões, managing director of DOC DMC Macau - Hong Kong and
director of smallWORLD Experience, was sceptical of the advantages of
co-hosting smaller events with a few hundred participants across two
cities, due to the additional time taken for transportation and
cross-border immigration formalities, but he saw promise in large-scale
mega events, which would spread accommodation pressure across two
“The immigration process is simplified, and cross-border land traffic
is easier. It would make sense for mega events, such as huge
conventions with say 10,000-20,000 delegates,” he added.
Simões was also positive about the greater connectivity between Macau
and Hengqin, part of enormous investment in rail and road
infrastructure in the Greater Bay Area. He pointed to the construction
of a line to Hengqin on Macau’s Light Rail Transport system, for
example, which connects Taipa and the island zone, and a new extension
which will connect Hengqin to the Guangzhou hub of China's high-speed
rail network that stretches as far as Harbin in the country's northeast.