by Michael C. Lowe | February 01, 2014

• In June, Macau will hold its 14th annual Lotus Flower Festival, showcasing the iconic plant throughout the city's streets, gardens and attractions.

• The Macau Grand Prix will take place Nov. 13-16, offering spectators an opportunity to watch all the high-octane action along the island's roadways.

• Also in November, the Macau Food Festival will welcome all to try Macanese cuisine, beverages, games and entertainment.

• For more Macau events, visit

It's a Fact
U.S. passport holders can visit Macau without a visa for up to 30 days.

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Macau enjoyed major success with its casinos last year, reporting some US$45 billion in gaming revenue, an increase of 18.6 percent over 2012. Analysts cited by the Los Angeles Times estimate the figure could be up to seven times as much as the total for casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
Several major hotels recently have cropped up to support the influx of interest to the island, which is one of two Special Administrative Regions of China (the other is Hong Kong), and more developments are on the way.

Property Updates
The 3,896-room Sheraton Macau Hotel, Cotai Central, Starwood's largest hotel property, opened in September 2012 and welcomed its millionth guest the following August. The hotel offers approximately 215,278 square feet of meeting space for groups.

Next year, the Galaxy Macau complex, which already includes the 1,500-room Galaxy Hotel, 250-suite Banyan Tree Macau and 488-room Hotel Okura Macau, plans to open a 250-suite Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott Hotel Macau, which will offer an estimated 1,100 guest rooms.

MGM Resorts International will make its mark with a US$2.5 billion hotel and casino complex set to open on the Cotai Strip in 2016. Features will include 1,600 guest rooms, 500 gaming tables and 2,500 slots over a 17.8-acre site. Additional retail, restaurant and entertainment offerings are expected.

Also on the horizon for the Cotai Strip is a Palazzo Versace hotel, the luxury, high-fashion brand with a neoclassical style found in its first two properties in Australia and Dubai. The hotel will incorporate Macanese culture and is on course to open in 2017.

Increased Lift
Cathay Pacific plans to add daily direct service from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in March, a new morning flight from Los Angeles in June, and three direct flights from Chicago O'Hare to Hong Kong International Airport, just an hour from Macau by ferry, in August of this year.

Exploring on Foot
The Macau Government Tourist Office has launched four new walking-tour routes of Macau's lesser-known areas. Maps are available at