With love, from Macau

As romance oriented trips gain momentum with today’s traveller base spanning increasing generations, interests and occasions, here’s how to weave in awe-inspiring moments in Asia’s unique City of Love.

Join the thousands gathered under Macau’s illuminated skies in celebration of the 30th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest, happening from now until October 5.

Join the thousands gathered under Macau’s illuminated skies in celebration of the 30th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest, happening from now until October 5.

Join the thousands gathered under Macau’s illuminated skies in celebration of the 30th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest, happening from now until October 5.

Romance travel today is no longer limited to a singular customer base. Thanks to changing generational and social trends, modern romance travellers range from passionate young souls to hopeful babymooners and loving silver-haired couples who crave experiences that combine laidback moments with active explorations.

Travel agents who know how to tap into this lucrative niche with diverse packages that incorporate local experiences and special touches stand to reap the rewards.

A good destination to consider is Macau – this unique city of love offers a healthy mix of heritage and culture, convenient transport links and easy affordability, making it a winning appeal for couples seeking out an authentic experience.

Here, we offer tips on unique attractions and experiences for that perfect itinerary that combines romance and travel fulfillment.

1. A dose of romantic on-screen magic

The UNESCO site of Guia Fortress is a popular spot for lovers, and favoured backdrop for movies too.

The UNESCO site of Guia Fortress is a popular spot for lovers, and favoured backdrop for movies too.

The UNESCO site of Guia Fortress is a popular spot for lovers, and favoured backdrop for movies too.

Once a Portuguese colony in 1557 before returning to Chinese sovereignty, Macau’s European influences still flow deep, its colourful history so well preserved that UNESCO placed its famous badge on the historic centre of Macau – consisting of a collection of buildings and piazzas of no less than 22 sites.

And the one common factor tying each site together? Architecture that’s quietly grandeur, some even inspiring movie directors, like the Guia Fortress. Originally a fort and chapel in the 1600s, a Western-style lighthouse was added in 1864. Today, the site is known for its panoramic city views, which makes it a perfect spot for catching sunsets; it is also the backdrop for Hong Kong rom-com film, Look for a Star, starring Andy Lau and Shu Qi.

Even Korea broadcasters caught onto Macau’s old heritage charm, filming TV series Princess Hours, at Chapel of our Lady of Penha, a photogenic holy site resting atop a hill for the past 400 years.

For a perfect way to unwind in bliss, Macau boasts some of the world’s finest, award winning spas, including ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau.

For a perfect way to unwind in bliss, Macau boasts some of the world’s finest, award winning spas, including ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau.

For a perfect way to unwind in bliss, Macau boasts some of the world’s finest, award winning spas, including ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau.

2. Pampering treats

In addition to a full roster of romantic trip stops, recommending additional pampering services can be a lucrative way of upselling romance travel – and Macau’s definitely got this skill perfected.

According to Forbes Travel Guide’s incognito inspectors who are attuned to the finest international spa standards, they all favour Macau – awarding five winners to the city – 2018’s highest number amongst the final six winning countries.

Arrange for your clients to enjoy natural skylight while soaking in Zensa Spa’s 25m indoor heated pool; enter China’s royal palace of times past in Spa at Wynn Palace Macau; slip into luxurious silk robes at Nüwa Spa Macau; get an instant calm from The Spa at Encore Macau’s energy-cleansing crystals; or curl up on cocoon-like chairs swaying above a glittering pool at ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau.

3. Indulge in sensory delights

Romance is literally in the air, as the 30th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest lights up Macau’s skies over five weekends.

The five-month long Art Macao has been drawing crowds of all nationalities and demographics thanks to its diverse exhibitions, musicals and installations highlighting collaborations over a multitude of creatives worldwide.

For trips happening any time from now until November 17, be sure to include a stop at the Macao Museum of Art for Chen Zhifo’s exhibition. As the first Chinese to study design in Japan, Chen was a master at painting meticulous details of flowers and birds, his works elegant, happy and bright.

After a day of exploring, help your clients end the evening on a romantic note by sending them to the annual Macao International Fireworks Display Contest. Spanning five weekends from now until October 5, this year’s 30th edition will see competing countries as far as Portugal and Romania firing off their best starry displays into the night – and what could be more romantic than admiring that with a loved one?

4. Instagrammable memories for life

Couples will find many photo opportunities in Macau, such as a smaller version of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and the cosy Love Lane.

Couples will find many photo opportunities in Macau, such as a smaller version of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and the cosy Love Lane.

Couples will find many photo opportunities in Macau, such as a smaller version of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and the cosy Love Lane.

Armed with smartphones, selfie sticks, tripods and plenty of nifty devices designed to preserve memories with as much creativity as possible, today’s travellers have no problems capturing memories – what they seek is the next perfect destination to explore, and for sharing with their friends and family.

An instant social media favourite for lovers is the Eiffel Tower, but they don’t have to splurge on an expensive ticket to France just for that. Home to the same tower (but at just half the height), Macau offers the same Parisian romance – with optimal framing for a picture-perfect moment. Lights illuminate the night from 6.15pm in the evenings, then it’s up to the 37th floor for seriously dazzling views of the Cotai Strip.

Just off the Ruins of St Paul’s is Love Lane, another favoured couples spot, flanked by European-style buildings bathed in pink, yellow and green in a tiny street no more than 50m long. Until mid-October, the city is also busy celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival with light installations and butterfly themed LED art exhibit at the Wynn Macau, a leisurely evening walk that can be easily worked into the itinerary.

Treat your loved one to an unforgettable meal at any of Macau’s 19 Michelin starred restaurants, including Chinese restaurant Jade Dragon, winner of three stars.

Treat your loved one to an unforgettable meal at any of Macau’s 19 Michelin starred restaurants, including Chinese restaurant Jade Dragon, winner of three stars.

Treat your loved one to an unforgettable meal at any of Macau’s 19 Michelin starred restaurants, including Chinese restaurant Jade Dragon, winner of three stars.

5. Finest for the taste buds

It does not have to be a special occasion for couples to treat their other halves to a romantic meal. And what better city to do so than in Macau, which offers a thriving food scene, so much so that it entered into UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network’s gastronomy listing in 2017. There’s even a dedicated Macau Food Festival already into its 19th edition this year, a massive 17-day feasting extravaganza comprising street stalls, beer competitions and live entertainment, happening November 8.

For date nights, big romantic gestures or anniversaries, introduce your clients to any of Macau’s 19 Michelin starred restaurants. There’s Jade Dragon, the Cantonese restaurant finally clinching the coveted three stars for the first time after entering the listing with one star in 2014. There’s also Alain Ducasse at Morpheus offering the iconic French chef’s most famous dishes, bringing the city’s two-starred restaurants to five. With the chance to taste Michelin standards from just HK$1,000 (US$130) per diner, dining in Macau is a worthy experience best enjoyed with a lifelong companion, best friend and travel partner.

To find out more about selling Macau’s unique experiences, and stand a chance to win a 2 nights’ stay in Macau, click here.

Macao Government Tourism Office

This article is brought to you by Macao Government Tourism Office.