Macau, China, 17 Jan – Around 22 million visitors travelled to Macau in 2006, which represented an increase of 17 percent against 2005, the government Secretary for Social and Cultural Affairs said Wednesday.
In 2005, 18.7 million tourists visited Macau.
Secretary Chui Sai On said that of the 21.9 million tourists those from the Chinese mainland accounted for 11.9 million followed by Hong Kong with 6.9 million, Taiwan with 1.4 million visitors and Japan with 220,000.
In 2006 the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland rose by 14.5 percent as compared with the previous year.
The Secretary also said that from January the capital cities of the provinces of Hebei, Jilin, Anhui, Henan and Hubei would be part of the individual visa system for their residents travelling to the special administrative region (SAR).
The population of the 49 cities of the mainland that are part of the individual visa system for visiting Macau totals over 260 million people.
At the end of 2006 Macau had 83 hotels with 13,000 rooms.
Figures published Tuesday in Beijing by the Ministry of Public Security showed that Macau was the second favorite destination of tourists from mainland China after Hong Kong and before Japan.
According to figures made public on the Ministry’s web page, Asian destinations are those preferred by Chinese tourists and following the top three favorite places to visit the list includes, Thailand, South Korea, Russia, the United States, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.
In 2006 the number of Chinese tourists that traveled abroad was 34.52 million, a year on year increase of 11.27 percent. (macauhub)