Hong Kong-listed Lai Fung Holdings Ltd, the developer of the Novotown non-gaming tourism complex on Hengqin island (pictured), part of mainland China next door to Macau, says the “Innovation Leadership Academy Hengqin” – part of Novotown’s second phase – is expected to open “in February 2021”.
Elsewhere on the island, Chimelong International Ocean Resort – a large-scale theme park for families – is set for expansion, according to a mainland media report.
Hengqin has been touted by the mainland authorities as a non-gaming tourism centre to complement Macau.
Assuming commerce and tourism picks up after the initial Covid-19 emergency, the facility will be able to handle up to 220,000 passenger trips daily.
Novotown’s educational academy is said to stem from Lai Fung’s partnership with Harrow School, a private secondary school in London in the United Kingdom.
The Hong Kong-listed firm also noted in a Tuesday filing that the company was finalising the development plan for “Real Madrid World” and “Ducati Experience Centre”, also to be parts of Novotown’s second phase.
The attractions would be themed respectively on elite Spanish football club Read Madrid and Italian motorcycle maker Ducati Motor Holding SpA, via partnership with each. The two partners had been announced along with the Harrow School tie-up, in late 2018.
“Lionsgate Entertainment World”, an indoor entertainment zone and part of the first phase of Novotown, opened in the summer last year. Another indoor attraction,“National Geographic Ultimate Explorer Hengqin”, launched in the autumn of 2019.
A 493-room hotel, Hyatt Regency Hengqin, also part of Novotown’s first phase, had a soft launch on December 31 last year.
This year, Novotown was closed for five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only reopening on June 24.
Chimelong International Ocean Resort was shut from late January for the same reason, but reopened on April 30.
An additional hotel and more amusement facilities – described respectively in corporate materials as a second and third phase of the venue – will be completed there next year. That is according to Zhao Jian, a sales manager at Chimelong Group, in comments at an event in Beijing on Saturday – to promote a joint tourism campaign by Macau and Hengqin – and that were quoted by mainland media outlet, Jiemian News .
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