Macau makes wrong bet

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Macau airport faces a massive uphill challenge to try and generate air traffic.

The airport has just released a statement saying “the development of cross strait links is fast eroding the transit business”.

It says “in 2009 Macau International Airport passenger traffic will adjust to 4.5 million and cargo volume to 50,000t.”

This translates into a 11.7% and 50.3% fall in passenger and cargo traffic in 2009 respectively.

It is pretty clear that Macau airport can no longer rely on transit traffic from China and that Macau has to become a destination in its own right.

The port city has a casino industry but not much else. There are also doubts emerging over whether casinos are really the right bet for driving Macau’s economy.

China’s efforts to clamp down on problem gambling has meant fewer mainland Chinese tourists are coming to Macau to gamble.

As consequence the casinos in Macau are suffering and some major casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands have shelved development projects in the former Portuguese colony.

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