Hualien County Government Tourism Department Director Tang Yu-Shu said wednesday the eastern Taiwanese county planned to launch regular direct flights between Hualien and Macau before the end of August with the aim of increasing the number of tourists from Macau by 20 percent.
The Hualien County Government held a tourism promotion conference yesterday at Ponte 16 Resort Hotel, which was attended by nearly 40 representatives from Hualien and the local tourism industry.
Tang told the audience on the sidelines of the conference that Hualien’s natural environment attracts many visitors from all over the world.
Tang pointed out that over 50,000 tourists from Macau visit Hualien every year, adding that only one charter flight carrying about 100 passengers flies to Hualien from Macau every year. In order to increase the number of tourists from Macau by 20 percent, the county government, Air Macau and Eva Air are discussing the feasibility of regular direct flights between Hualien and Macau, adding the flights would possibly be launched by the end of August, Tang added.
Tang pointed out that Macau is a prosperous city whose residents have a high purchasing power, adding that Macau is a large market to develop tourism. Tang said she believed that Hualien’s rural environment would provide tourists from Macau with a valuable experience that is different from their urban life, such as canoeing, surfing, and whale watching.
Meanwhile, 30 representatives who run B&Bs and sell agricultural produce and handicraft products in the county participated in the one-day conference, aiming to look for business cooperation projects with Macau companies, according to Tang.
Tang noted that Hualien is famous for growing rice and its high-quality rice products have passed over 400 strict tests and are exporting to Japan every year. Tang said that both Hong Kong and Macau people mainly eat rice imported from Thailand, adding she hoped to export Hualien’s pollution-free and organic agricultural produce to Hong Kong and Macau as well.
Tang also said Hualien also offers tourists well-preserved aboriginal cultures, such as by the Amis and Atayal people. One out of four of Hualien’s residents are aborigines, and their handicraft products were exhibited during the conference, hoping to attract buyers in Macau, Tang added.
Hualien county, which covers some 4,628 square kilometres, has about 335,000 residents.(Macaunews)