MACAO, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Macao recorded 30.95 million tourists arrivals in 2016, with overnight-stay visitors exceeding same-day visitors, the special administrative region's tourism office said on Wednesday.
Macao's total visitor arrivals in 2016 reached a record of 30.95 million, up by 0.8 percent from 2015. Around 28 million visitor arrivals came from the Chinese mainland, China's Hong Kong and Taiwan, a slight increase of 0.1 percent from 2015, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes told the press during MGTO's annual press conference.
According to MGTO data, Macao welcomed over 20 million mainland visitors last year, up by 0.2 percent, with 44 percent of them coming from neighboring Guangdong province. As for independent visitors from the mainland, the record reached 9.56 million, accounting for 46 percent of total mainland visitor arrivals.
An increase of 8.8 percent was recorded for the Taiwan market, whereas the sum of Hong Kong visitors dropped slightly by 1.8 percent from 2015.
International visitor arrivals also surged by 7.9 percent. South Korea still ranked the first, contributing over 660,000 visitors to Macao last year, with a robust growth of nearly 20 percent.
Visitors from Thailand and Indonesia marked high growth rate of over 30 percent and 11.7 percent respectively. Japanese visitor arrivals increased by 6.5 percent, and the United States tourists arrival grew by 4.6 percent.
The MGTO director said another upbeat statistic is overnight-stay visitor arrivals exceeded same-day visitor arrivals in 2016 for the first time in the last 10 years.
Preliminary data show that the overnight-stay visitors in 2016 exceeded 15.7 million, up by 9.8 percent, accounting for 50.7 percent of total arrivals. The average length of stay of overnight-stay visitors stood at 2.1 days and that of visitors in general was 1.2 days.
In terms of the hotel sector, there are 113 hotel establishments in Macao supplying a total of 37,634 rooms by the end of 2016, a year-on-year increase of nearly 14 percent.
Among them, there are 47 establishments of budget accommodation with a total of 1,513 rooms. The average occupancy rate in 2016 ranged from 82 percent to 84 percent, a year-on-year increase of 1 to 3 percentage points. The average room rate of three to five star hotels was 161 U.S. dollars in 2016, down by 12.7 percent.
Looking forward the office's work in 2017, Maria said MGTO will complete its formulation of "Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan" and carry out new and ongoing projects to ensure diversified and sustainable development of tourism industry.
"We will also carry out the tourism development goals in the Five-Year Development Plan formulated by the SAR government and its progress of building Macao into a World Tourism and Leisure Center," she added.