Macau, China, 20 Jan -Macau recorded close to 25 million visitor arrivals last year, representing an increase of 15 percent over 2009, Director of Macau Government Tourist Office Joao Manuel Costa Antunes said on Wednesday.
Antunes made the announcement at the MGTO Annual Press Conference at the Macao Tower Convention and Entertainment Center, where media was briefed with last year’s tourism development of Macao and outlined this year’s tourism strategies and marketing promotional activities.
The tourism industry of Macau enjoyed a steady growth last year, with provisional figures showing that visitor arrivals hit 24,965,000 in 2010, with Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan remaining to be the top three visitor generating markets, said Antunes.
The figure of last year also indicated that visitors from Chinese mainland and Hong Kong scored a surge of 20 percent and 11 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, new markets such as India, Russia and the Middle East also performed well last year, with a rise of 57 percent, 49 percent and 33 percent respectively over 2009.
Antunes noted that visitors from Asia surged by 15 percent, while markets in the Americas, Europe, Africa and other regions also recorded growth.
During the press conference MGTO Director also said that his staff were working on how to develop the city’s latest tourism product – panda pair Hoi Hoi and Sum Sum at their state-of-the-art enclosure in Coloane.
"It’s very good for Macau to have the two giant pandas because we have a new tourism product for families to combine with other products we have in Macau," Costa Antunes said.
Antunes also noted that some 48 percent of all visitors to Macau stayed overnight, about half of them at five-star hotels.
According to The Macau Post Daily Costa Antunes said that the government would encourage the setting-up of low-cost hotels in small buildings and further promote cultural tourism.
At the end of last year, Macau had 62 hotels and 31 guesthouses with a total of 20,988 rooms.