Macau breaks new grounds in attracting tourists


Taipei – Macau is working to develop new tour routes, even considering linking up with Hong Kong and Taiwan in coming up with new and attractive tour packages for the benefit of all, said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the visiting deputy director of the Macau Government Tourist Office, in Taipei yesterday.

Exploring new markets has meant going to central and southern Taiwan this time to entice potential Taiwanese travelers to Macau.

Global economic downturn and the opening of cross-Strait air links have been affecting Macau tourism especially as far as Taiwan visitors are concerned. Such developments, in fact, have been fueling a stepped-up and rather aggressive marketing drive by all those who are a part of Macau tourism industry today.

The latest sales blitz to Taiwan initiated by the Macau Government Tourist Office is seeing the active participation of 21 key tourism industry players in the former Portuguese colony, including the top casino hotels and resorts like the soon-to-be inaugurated City of Dreams, the Grand Lisboa, the Grand Waldo Casino & Grand Waldo Hotel, the Wynn Macau, the Star World Hotel, the Crown Macau, the MGM Grand Macau, the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, the Venetian Macau-Resort-Hotel, the Rio Hotel, the Ponte Hotel and the Fisherman’s Wharf.

Macau suffered an eight percent drop in total arrivals last year compared to the record from year 2007. Taiwan last year made the No. 3 ranking after mainland China and Hong Kong as far as the total number of visitors in Macau was concerned.

Bringing down prices, including the room rates and air fares, is not perceived as the best solution to the concern of the Macau tourism industry about the difficulty in luring tourists, said Senna Fernandes. She insisted that the quality of the tour packages must be kept.

She also remarked that the invitation to experience Macau today is not going to be confined to the enjoyment of the tourist destination as simply a gaming capital. Celebrating Macau is going to be associated with indulging in a lifestyle of relaxation and leisure, according to her. Macau, where new facilities continue to rise, also remains ever proud to be recognized as a World Heritage Site. Macau has history and culture.

Senna Fernandes said that this year marks the 10th year of Macau as China’s Special Administrative Region. The activities to be held in celebration of Macau’s history promise to be colorful.