Macau, China, 18 Jan – Macau is expected to receive over 24 million visitors in 2007, a year on year increase of 10 percent, the territory’s tourism director, Costa Antunes said Wednesday.
“Our priority is not the number of tourists that visit us, but rather the quality of our services. Even so we expect the number of visitors in 2007 to be at least 10 percent higher than those of 2006,” he said.
Around 22 million tourists visited Macau in 2006, a rise of 17 percent against 2005, when 18.7 million tourists visited the territory.
The biggest number of visitors – 11.9 million – arrived form the Chinese mainland, which was an increase of 14.5 percent against 2005.
In second place were tourists from Hon Kong with 6.9 million visitors (a 23 percent rise), those from Taiwan with 1.4 million (3 percent more), Japan with 220,000 and Malaysia with 202,00, which was a rise of 106 percent against 2005.
Costa Antunes also said that from the beginning of this year the residents of 49 Chinese cities were authorized to visit Macau on individual visas.
The population of those 49 cities is of over 260 million people.
The Macau Tourism Service said that as part of the foreign promotion of Macau’s potential specific attention would be paid to the Russian and Middle Eastern markets.
At the end of 2006 Macau had 83 hotels with 13,000 rooms and another 17 hotels under construction.
Macau had 24 casinos at the end of 2006 and this year a further four are due to open and another two in 2008.
The Secretary for the Economy and finance of Macau, Francis Tam said at the end of 2006 he was confident that Macau’s gross gaming and gambling revenues in 2006 could exceed US$6.25 billion. (macauhub)