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Design Head: Macau to Become Tourist Leader

7 May 2004

MACAU – As reported by the Hong Kong Standard: "The architect behind the Las Vegas Sands casino in Macau believes the former Portuguese enclave will become the world's biggest tourist attraction by 2009.

"`I can see it happening in five years,'' Paul Steelman, the 48-year-old president of the Paul Steelman Design Group, said.

"…By some estimates, the creation of 77,000 hotel rooms is on the drawing board for Macau, including 600 this year, 2,000 in 2005 and possibly 2,100 in 2006. This is not including the first phase of The Venetian mega-resort development, which has about 17,000 rooms. Macau has a current stock of roughly 8,900 hotel rooms versus about 43,000 in Hong Kong.

"…`One of the rules we follow in Las Vegas is to extend the day trips and that depends on the number of hotel rooms. In the same way, the convention business is only good if there are hotel rooms,' Steelman said.

"…`But what we are trying to do with Macau is to create a group of casinos where gamblers can walk from one to the next as their luck changes. In this industry, one is not good.'"

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