quarta-feira, 25 de junho de 2008

Macau Tries To Step Out of Hong Kong's Shadow - A sombra de Hong Kong

Um artigo de Novembro de 2007 do Hidden Travel Gems (tesouros turísticos escondidos) que terá um pouco despercebido aqui pelo território (em inglês):

What's the problem with Macau? Nothing, really. The former Portuguese colony boasts some of East Asia's best casinos and plushest hotels. The peninsula, where the action is, is a unique blend of Asian and European. The Macau grand prix brings together many of the world's best auto racers, and business is booming due to Macau's designation as a special economic zone by the Chinese authorities in Beijing.

The problem, then, is that Macau sits in the shadow of Hong Kong. For many people Hong Kong IS Asia. The sheer density, both in people and in opportunities, makes Hong Kong utterly attractive and the center of most people's itinerary.

Macau, however, is content to sit on the sidelines. A new campaign aimed at attracting visitors from both Hong Kong and further a-field is bringing Macau's non-gambling attractions to the forefront.


Macau is full of culture, and its proximity to Hong Kong needn't be a negative. Ferry service between the two former colonies runs often and is reasonably priced. Day trips between the two territories are easier now than ever before.

The cultural differences between the two places are also a marketing point for Macau. Without the same amount of land for large-scale projects (like Hong Kong's amusement parks or shopping centers), local culture becomes an important selling point.

A Hong Kong based travel agent explains:

We have to remember that culture and arts need not only mean high-brow events. There are also local festivals, local photography, artworks by schoolchildren etc...There is a growing number of regulars who visit Macau for the music and arts festival. There is also the annual fireworks show - families can go there to admire the fireworks.

That seems to be part of the ideal image Macau is striving for: An alternative to Hong Kong. Perhaps it doesn't have the attractions of Hong Kong. Fair enough. But it also lacks Hong Kong's traffic, pollution, and elbow-to-elbow crowds. Sounds like a fair trade-off to me.

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