Chief executive candidate Ho Iat Seng said on Wednesday that Coloane is the “lungs of the city” and there’s room to “appropriately” improve its business development with the aim of diverting the city’s visitor flows and sharing the economic benefits with the island’s residents.
Ho said the ultimate aim was for Coloane to become a tourism business district.
Ho and his campaign team members visited Coloane and met merchants and residents there Wednesday morning to familiarise themselves with the island’s retail business environment, environmental conservation efforts as well as flooding problems during typhoons.
A dry seafood merchant surnamed Lam suggested that Ho’s government increase the number of parking spaces in Coloane and build a breakwater close to the sea in order to ensure coastal residents’ safety during strong storms and typhoons.
Ho told reporters during the visit that it’s worthwhile keeping Coloane’s “nostalgic” atmosphere and strengthen its business development. He also admitted that building a breakwater was a useful way to solve the flooding problem in Coloane.
“Coloane can utilise its characteristics as a fishing village to optimise its business environment. For example, developing a seafood street similar to the Sai Kung seafood street in Hong Kong. However, the first priority is to solve the parking problem in the area by providing more parking spaces for tourist coaches and private cars,” Ho underlined.
Responding to a reporter’s question about the conservation of Coloane’s Lai Chi Vun Village, Ho pointed out that some of the buildings in the village could be retained but those that are too dilapidated couldn’t be kept.
“We can discuss with the public how many shipyards should be preserved and repaired with the aim of showing the public the story of the traditional shipbuilding industry in the future. This area can also be developed as a cultural and creative area, using its natural scenery, food and creative and cultural products to attract visitors,” Ho suggested.
Previously there were 16 shipyards in the village, including those which have already collapsed and the two shipyards controversially demolished by the Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) in 2017. A dozen old shipyards remain in the village.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Ho went on to say that he also visited a nursing home and a school in Ká Hó Village, adding that the area around the two buildings was not suitable for tourism development, adding: “Some areas are better being kept as they are.”