Wynn Macau appears to be working towards the establishment of a training center in Hengqin – the Chinese free trade zone located adjacent to Macau – for the casino and integrated resort industry.
The company’s Vice Chairman, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Linda Chen, hinted at the move during an interview with Bloomberg TV this week in which she discussed current headwinds facing Macau’s gaming operators and Wynn’s local expansion plans.
Asked specifically whether Wynn Macau had any future plans for Hengqin, Chen said, “In the Greater Bay Area our investment is more on the training [side], so we are actually working closely with institutions and training centers in Macau on how we can use Hengqin as a collaboration to develop a training center for our industry.”
Hengqin has long been touted as a future hub for Greater Bay Area tourism as well as a MICE-related business center, potentially aligning closely with Macau’s entertainment offerings to create a broader destination offering. Chinese authorities have also touted the idea of visa-free travel between the neigboring cities in order to boost their regional appeal.
Last month, a proposal was put to the National People’s Congress to grant Macau the right to use the Hengqin Port in Zhuhai – a move that would simplify the border-crossing process and improve connectivity of the region.
Chen said the impact of recent civil unrest in Hong Kong and its effect on visitation to Macau demonstrated just how important it is for Macau’s future to ensure better integration with the rest of the Greater Bay Area.
“The most important thing we should learn from this incident is that Macau needs to be a sustainable destination,” Chen said. “If Macau is where people want to visit then that will be the attraction, that will be the most important thing for the future.
“It’s unfortunate to have other things happen around us but we should take the opportunity to also understand how to market Macau and how to integrate – because there is so much more to Macau – with the Greater Bay Area, with Hengqin, with Guangzhou, with all the other cities to China.
“There are a lot of other destination incorporated with Macau so I think that is the future, to understand our true inner value and then figure out how you can package different experiences.”