RL Magazine
Message from the Editor - Macau
By Lyndsey Turner

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In 2008 I was visiting the island of Macau on my way to Thailand. Macau is an island off the coast of China, under Portuguese rule until 2000; it is considered the Las Vegas of Asia. Recently Macau has experienced growing pains: while tourism is booming for near by visitors the island is now starting to see tourist from far off places. The environment, economy and locals are feeling the strains of the growing number of vacationers.

Macau’s government is making strides to correct and capitalize on these issues. The DSEC says, “ The government’s commitment to increase the local Quality of Life; to ensure the sustainability of it’s development model; and to ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of economic growth.” Macau has brought natural gas public transport to the island to reduce carbon emissions since most tourists will take tour buses or public buses. In addition the government is going to sponsor car owners to transform their existing car into natural gas cars. Public swimming pools are being heated by solar power and if this project proves successful they might implement solar panels in all major casino hotels. Macau’s transportation got the lowest rating from tourism surveys. The government has tried to improve the transportation problems by rearranging public bus routes, which has helped a lot. Also bus routes were hard for international tourist to understand as all signage and information boards were written in Portuguese and Cantonese. Macau has now added English and in is trying to implement English as their official third language.

I had a great time in Macau and I imagine that if I go back my experience will be much different. Four years have gone by giving this very active government a lot of time to iron out the wrinkles and implement more programs.

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