Macau (MNA) – Real estate and investment consultancy company JLL Macau indicated in a release on Tuesday that although the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge (HMZB) will lead to a short term increase in tourist arrivals to Hong Kong and Macau, the ‘true value of the bridge may not be apparent until 10 years, if not longer’.
‘However, the project is certain to contribute to the future prosperity of the Greater Bay Area, particularly with other major infrastructure projects being delivered in the coming years,’ the Head of Research at JLL Hong Kong, Denis Ma, indicated.
The consultancy firm also indicated that, aside from the gaming and hotel sector, the major local beneficiary in Macau would be its retail sector.
“Much of the retail space in the casinos is occupied by high-end brands at present. The retail offering in Macau is likely to transition more towards mass market retail including major fast fashion brands as the city tries to attract a broader range of tourists,” the Managing Director at JLL in Macau and Zhuhai, Gregory Ku, said in the release.
The infrastructure project is also expected to increase the number of tourist arrivals from Hong Kong to Macau, which is believe to increase gaming revenues and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) events.
The retail industry in Hong Kong is also expected to grow, with JLL estimating that there will be 420,000 more mainland tourist arrivals to Hong Kong per year by 2020, which
coupled with the opening of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will lead to an additional 2.1 million visitors per year.
“Using the 2017 average spend on shopping and dining by a mainland visitor of HK$3,400 (US$430), an additional HK$7.1 billion in retail turnover per year can be expected in Hong Kong from increased tourist activity,” the Head of Research at JLL Hong Kong, Denis Ma, indicated.
JLL also indicated that the bridge has the potential to boost economic activity in Zhuhai and other parts of the western bay area ‘significantly’
‘The western areas of Guangdong province have lagged in terms of attracting business
investment compared to Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The bridge will likely change this situation. Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Jiangmen all have the opportunity to position themselves as lower cost options, considering average wages in these cities can be up to 25 per cent cheaper than Shenzhen,’ the release stated.
The industrial property sector in this region was also said to be one of the key beneficiaries if manufacturing businesses move into the area and with demand for office space to also increase.
In a separate release, development group Lai Sun Group said that with the opening of the HMZB, Hengqin was now connected on land with both Hong Kong and Macau, and that a cross border bus service operated by Trans-Island Limousine Service would provide regular shuttle bus services to the group’s Novotown project after its expected Phase I’s opening in 2019.
‘The improved connectivity brought forth by the opening of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge will help enhance the region’s attractiveness for external investment and bring in tourists from the Greater Bay Area and beyond[…]. We look forward to welcoming 5 million visitations in the first year after the opening of Novotown’s Phase I” the Chief Executive Officer of Novotown, John Tse, said.