A recent million-dollar win in Macau underscores an emerging travel trend taking off in the Delta: more Taiwanese are coming to the region for the sweet life. One such lucky man is named Yang, 43, from Taiwan. According to the Grand Lisboa in Macau, he won a progressive jackpot of HK$ 2,833,672 earlier this week.
“We are pleased that visitors are enjoying the exciting atmosphere in the Grand Lisboa during the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival and are winning jackpots,” said Louis Ng, Director and Chief Operating Officer for Sociedade de Jogos de Macau.
Speaking of Chinese New Year, thre recently opened direct routes up between Guangzhou and Shenzhen to Taipei have witnessed fully booked flights for the past few weeks. Despite digging slightly into Ewa Airlines direct flights between Macau and Taiwan, the new routes are contributing to all Delta cities, comments Derek Shao, Corporate Communications Director for China Southern Airline’s Guangzhou office.
That could be a good sign for investors looking into the shaky Macau market. After all, Taiwan represents the third largest pool of travelers to Macau, after the mainland and Hong Kong. According to Macau’s statistics department, or DSEC, air arrivals in December 2008 at Macao International Airport totaled 1,698,219, a 15 percent rise over 2007. The DSEC figures for December also note that 34.9 percent of the air arrivals were from Taiwan. An additional 31.2 percent arrived from Southeast Asia by air and 21.8 arrived by flights from the Chinese mainland. Indeed, the fervor for Taiwanese to come to the Delta’s gambling city is changing the temperament towards gaming in Taiwan. Last month, legislators in Taiwan passed a bill to legalize gambling in the Penghu Islands off the west coast of the main island. Will this
dip into the number of Taiwan travelers to Macau? Only time will tell. The DSEC has yet to release the results of the number of visitor arrivals for the 2009 Chinese New Year celebrations.