MACAU/ HENGQIN OFFERS GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR TOURISM EXPLOITATION IN MACAU
Hengqin, with its unique geographical position and convenient transportation, has plenty of potential for tourism, which can be developed with planning and exploitation with cooperation with the Macau Special Administrative Region (Fig.1).
Firstly, Hengqin is located on the west side of the Pearl River estuary, surrounded by water and numerous bays. The beach stretches across the island, with clear water, fine sand and beautiful natural scenery, which can attract many tourists. Also, it is located just across the river next to Macau, Macau can bring its blend in Chinese and Western cultures into its development, which can be enriched by the island’s existing historical monuments from war period as well as several amusement parks and resorts. According to the tourism resource classification table in“National standards of People’s Republic of China” (Fig.2), Hengqin consists 8 main class, 19 subclasses and 46 basic types of tourism resource, which is 100%, 62% and 30% of those categories in the classification table respectively, reflecting its diverse qualities in tourism development. These can aid Macau’s diversification from its entertainment industry which is limited to gambling now.
Secondly, Hengqin has plenty of advantage in terms of resources for tourism development which can provide Macau with. It is very accessible with well-developed land, sea and air transportation. An extensive network of external public roads has also been developed. Moreover, it is an important carrier for the cooperation and development of the Pan-Pearl River Delta region, thus with part of it being leased to Macau, the bond and cooperation between Macau and Mainland China can be strengthened.
According to Hengqin’s unique features and comprehensive conditions for tourism exploitation, it can target for a healthy and environmental friendly leisure industry through weekend holiday sightseeing tours, outdoor experiential travel packages as well as health care oriented leisure vacations targeting high-end consumers etc., which can influence and slowly transform Macau’s unhealthy image in gambling and limited area of interest in entertainment industry.
 广东省横琴岛旅游发展规划构想, 孙欣欣, 代莹, 曾克峰, May 2007