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Wanshan islands to see major investment from European firm

     chinadaily     2019-6-25 17:55:00    

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Zhuhai city's Wanshan district boasts 105 islets. It has become an emerging destination for its leisure, scenery and outdoor activities. [Photo provided to China Daily]


An archipelago to the east of Hong Kong and Macao has attracted the attention of a European real estate investment company planning to build a luxury resort project there.

The resort development project is called Crystal Waters on Wanshan islands, which belongs to Zhuhai. The total amount to be invested could range from $150 million to $200 million, Pantazis Therianos, chief executive of Euroterra Capital, told China Daily in Hong Kong.

"The breathtaking sea views and the improving infrastructure are the two major reasons why we have a bullish view on Wanshan, "Therianos said.

The land for the resort will be covered by a 40-year lease. It is the first time the London-based property investment firm will invest heavily in the Asia market.

"The amount is a total that we are going to invest in the next three years," said Therianos. "The development period will last three to five years."

The 104-island archipelago is in the South China Sea and is part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Marine tourism, island and coastal-land tourism have become Wanshan's main industries given its unique geographical position.

The archipelago is also called the Zhuhai Wanshan Marine Development Experimental Zone, which was designated as one of the Chinese mainland's first comprehensive marine sites in 1998.

The Bay Area's development plan unveiled earlier in 2019 stressed the promotion of high quality development of coastal tourism as well as improvement of the coastal tourism infrastructure and the public service system.

In its blueprint, the formation of a coastal tourism development axis connecting it with Hong Kong and Macao will be stepped up. Tourism companies are being encouraged to explore travel routes involving Macao with neighboring cities and islands.

Data from Wanshan zone's official website showed the number of tourists reached 570,000 in 2017. It is forecast the number of overnight visitors will be more than one million yearly in 2020.At that time, income from tourism could rise to more than 3 billion yuan annually.

To bolster the connections between the Wanshan islands and Hong Kong and Macao, the local government started to team up last month with the Guangdong Provincial Navigation Holdings Company. The two parties will work on waterway-passenger routes connecting the Wanshan islands with Hong Kong and Macao.

Therianos expects more convenient transportation will attract not only Chinese tourists but also overseas traveler to the islands.

Besides Wanshan in China, Euroterra will also tap Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia to expand its resorts project.

The company used to offer services to mainland and Hong Kong investors wanting to buy houses in Europe. With Brexit pushing the British pound to ever lower levels, Therianos believes it is now the best time to purchase houses in London.

"In the next year, investors will make a lot of money. They can buy at a really low price now and then see big capital gains," he said.

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