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Macao is one of the Culture Cities of East Asia for 2025

The SAR becomes the first Chinese city outside of the mainland to be given the honour, which it shares with Huzhou in Zhejiang province
  • Four cities are given the designation each year, two from China and one each from South Korea and Japan

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Macao has joined Huzhou in Zhejiang province as one of two Chinese cities designated Culture Cities of East Asia in 2025.

Macao is the first Chinese city outside of the mainland to be given the honour. News of its designation was announced by social affairs and culture secretary Elsie Ao Ieong and reported in Macau Post Daily.

Established in 2014, the Culture Cities of East Asia is a trilateral, Seoul-headquartered initiative between China, Japan and South Korea, designed to promote artistic development and exchanges in the three countries. China nominates two cities each year, while South Korea and Japan nominate one each.

[See more: MGTO roadshow heads to Seoul to promote Macao to Korean travellers]

Officials will be hoping that the designation gives a further boost to tourism. It comes in the wake of a Chinese Tourism Academy survey that named Macao as the domestic destination that gave most satisfaction to mainland Chinese travellers. It also gives encouragement to the local government’s efforts to downplay gambling and promote Macao’s cultural attractions. 

In an interview with Bloomberg TV yesterday, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said “Hopefully, going forward, we will not just talk about Macao in terms of gaming.”

The 2024 Culture Cities of East Asia are Gimhae (South Korea), Weifang and Dalian (China), and Ishikawa (Japan). Japan and South Korea have yet to nominate their respective Culture Cities for 2025.

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