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Macau logs over 20 million tourists
With three months still to go, the number of visitor arrivals reached 20.7 million this year, up by 11.2 percent year-on-year, according to the Macau Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
Visitors from mainland China are the ones responsible for the notable increase, accounting for more than half of the total – 11.7 million (up 19.8 percent). Visitors from Hong Kong come second, with some 5.7 million in the nine months to September, an increase of 3 percent year-on-year.
Also rising is the number of tourists from the Republic of Korea, up 21.4 percent to 302,530 in the first nine months of the year.
The numbers released yesterday by DSEC confirmed the forecast made by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in July. PATA had estimated that the number of tourists to Macau would grow to over 20 million by September.
Last year, the territory received almost 25 million tourists, but that may well be a record that will not stand for long. According to PATA’s predictions, some 27.4 million tourists will visit Macau this year.
Total visitors rose 17.8 percent in September alone, DSEC said, rising to 2.17 million, with visitors from Singapore climbing 36.2 percent to 23,118.
But as usual it was the number of visitors from mainland China that most contributed to this growth.
Visitors to Macau from the Mainland last month rose 39 percent from a year earlier, reaching 1.24 million and accounting for 57.5 percent of the total.
In contrast, visitors from Hong Kong (582,025), Taiwan (101,047), Japan (35,623) and Korea (26,677) decreased by 2.7, 0.6, 12.1 and 9.5 percent respectively.
A report released by the China Tourism Academy earlier this year pointed out that the local economy would receive a further boost as more mainland Chinese tourists would travel internationally this year with increased spending.
The study identified Macau as the second most important destination for Chinese tourists with a total of 16.1 million visitors last year, above the official MSAR statistics, which placed mainland tourists for 2010 at around 13.2 million.
Last year the territory accounted for 28.1 percent of all Chinese visitors overseas, the report said.
October also promises to be a good month for the local tourism industry. Macau’s visitor arrivals during the Chinese national holiday week (nine days) rose 13.27 percent to 775,968 from a year earlier, the city’s tourism office said in a statement on October 10.
Arrivals from mainland China climbed 22 percent to 580,350, the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) said, adding that the daily average number of occupied rooms increased 8.67 percent to 18,730.
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