Macau, China, 14 Dec – About 900,000 Taiwanese travelled to the mainland through Macau last year, Wang Chun-bao, director of the Taiwan Visitors Association, said Tuesday, despite the 2008 launch of direct cross-strait flights.
Wang, who was in town to present Taiwanese delicacies as a tourist attraction for the island, told The Macau Post Daily that the number of Taiwan residents travelling to Macau has not been affected much by the launch of the direct cross-strait flights.
“Before, about 800,000 to 900,000 people from Taiwan travelled to Macau to enter the mainland every year. We’re still getting this number even with the direct cross-strait flights, which means that Taiwan people are really coming to visit Macau ,” Wang said.
He made the remarks after a Taiwan tourism promotion event at Macau Tower .
According to Wang , Taiwan has an average of seven to eight million outbound tourists a year.
While Taiwanese are Macau’s third-largest visitor group, followed by mainlanders and Hongkongers, Wang said that the number of Macau residents visiting Taiwan had also grown.
From January to October this year one million tourists from Taiwan visited Macau.
Two airline companies from Taiwan and one from Macau link both regions.
“This is the first year that the number of Macau residents visiting Taiwan has reached a record-breaking 100,000, it’s very surprising,” Wang said.
Wang pointed out that the growth of five to eight percent of Macau holidaymakers in Taiwan from last year’s figure was due to the convenience of travel, the simplified visa procedures and the more relaxed environment compared to other nearby destinations.
Wang said that since Taiwanese food had long been a local favourite, his association, together with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, was using titbits from different parts of the island, to attract visitors to tour the whole of Taiwan and not just Taipei .(MacauNews/Tourism)