Macao Sees Tourist Boom in First Half of This Year

Xinhua, 25 July 2002

MACAO, July 25 (Xinhua)—Tourist arrivals in Macao went up a year-on-year 9.3 percent to 5.48 million in the first half of this year, according to the latest figures from the Statistics and Census Services.

Hong Kong visitors amounted to 25.5 million, or 46.5 percent of the total, making Hong Kong remain the largest tourist source for Macao, but the figure dropped 2.3 percent compared with the same period of last year.

China's inland was catching up with visitors from there increasing to 34.2 percent of the total, while Taiwan tourists made up 13.7 percent.

Macao's tourism industry benefited from the China National Tourism Administration's loosening of restrictions on Macao and Hong Kong bound tours, allowing 67 travel agencies to manage such tours.

The Macao government Tourist Office is seeking to make tourists stay longer and spend more as the number of same-day visitors still reached more than 2.3 million, or 42 percent of the total, in the first six months.

In 2001, tourists to Macao hit a record of more than 10 million.