Macau: Fewer Taiwanese tourists in 2009 but longer stays

17 October 2008

Macau, China, 17 Oct – Numbers of Taiwanese tourists visiting Macau in 2009 will fall but their stay in the territory will be longer, the director general of the Taipei Cultural and Economic Center has told the MacauNews website.

Chen Chung-hong said the fall in Taiwanese tourism to Macau is due to the start of direct flights from the island to mainland China last July. It is expected the current four weekly direct flights will be increased in the coming months.

Some 1.43 million Taiwanese visited Macau in 2007, many of these in transit to China. In the first eight months of this year, 900,000 Taiwanese visitors came to Macau. Chen said Macau could receive 300,000 less Taiwanese in 2009.

“Previously Taiwanese citizens used Macau to enter mainland China. Today they don’t need to.”

The Taiwanese official, who represents Taipei’s interest in the Chinese enclave, said rising costs of living in Macau means fewer firms are setting up there.

“Currently, businessmen prefer to set up in Zhuhai, on Macau’s border with China, where the cost of living is at least a half of Macau’s”, said Chen.

Chen said the Hua Nan Bank will open in Macau by the end of the year and other banks could be interested in coming to the territory.

Around 100,000 Macau citizens visit Taiwan every year and most of these are students, as Taiwan’s higher education system offers more course than Macau’s, said Chen. (macauhub)