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Macao Receives 145,000 Group Tourists in May

MACAO, July 12 -- The number of tourists in group to China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) went down 8.3 percent year-on-year to 145,000 in May, according to the latest official statistics.

Figures released by the Statistics and Census Services show that China's inland was still the largest tourist source for the SAR, with 82,750 visitors to Macao, but the figure dropped 25.4 percent from the same month of last year.

Macao's tourism products lack of new attraction for people in China's inland, said Helena Maria Senna de Fernandes, deputy director of the Tourist Office of the SAR government.

She told Xinhua that it is easier now for the inland Chinese to apply for and obtain the business passports, which actually increased the number of business travelers, but brought down the number of tourists in group to Macao.

The number of group tourists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan increased 26.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 5.1 percent to 38,000, 7, 900 and 7,400, respectively, in May, according to the figures.

A total of 595,800 people visited Macao in the first five months of this year, down 11.9 percent on an annual basis, statistics show.

On the other hand, 11,600 Macao residents, out of a population of roughly 440,000, traveled to other places in May. Their favorite destinations include China's inland, Thailand and Japan.

The Tourist Office plans to set up offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as part of its efforts to draw more tourists from China's inland areas.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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