New route in works as bridge takes toll on Macau ferries

Local | Phoenix Un 8 Feb 2019

TurboJet has applied to launch a new route between Kowloon and Taipa in Macau, according to president of the Macau Travel Industry Council Andy Wu Keng-kuong.

TurboJet, which is led by Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, currently runs routes between Macau's two main terminals - Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal, also known as Pac On Terminal - and Hong Kong.

It operates services that run between Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and Sheung Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui as well as from Taipa Ferry Terminal to Sheung Wan.

However, the one route it doesn't currently offer is between Taipa and Tsim Sha Tsui.

With the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, ferry services between the two SARs are expected to see business shrink.

However, Wong Soi-man, director of Macau's Marine and Water Bureau, yesterday confirmed that a ferry company had applied to broaden its service.

"They hope to start a new route between Taipa and Kowloon," Wong said. "I believe they made this adjustment according to the customer trend, and of course we will also see if other ferry companies make the changes."

Currently, only Cotai Water Jet operates routes between Taipa and the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui.

December figures from the Macau Public Security Police indicated there was a drop in the number of tourists entering and leaving Macau through both the Outer Harbour terminal and Taipa in comparison to a year before that.

The figures showed that 1.05 million and 610,000 people entered or left Macau through Outer Harbour terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal in December.

However, the drop was not as severe at Taipa as it suffered a year-on-year decrease of 24.5 percent, while it plunged 27.7 percent at Outer Harbour terminal.

Wong attributed the drop to the commencement of the mega bridge, but insisted that the decrease was stable and not too acute.

Wu said that TurboJet had decided to apply for the new route as it feels passenger numbers at Taipa have not declined by a drastic amount. "Thus TurboJet would like to shift some of its transport capacity from Macau to Taipa," he said.

He also said more and more tourists have opted to go to Taipa directly as they want to go to Cotai Strip, where high-profile casino hotels have been built.

The Taipa terminal had been criticized for being too large considering the relatively few ferry routes that use it.

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