HK gets 7.25 mln mainland tourists from Jan to May

created: 2009-06-29

About 7.25 million mainland tourists visited Hong Kong from January to May, up 7.4 percent from last year, statistics from the China National Tourism Administration showed Thursday.

"'Individual tourists' have brought plenty of opportunities to Hong Kong's tourism and other industries ... and it's far more than we have expected," a CNTA official who declined to be identified told Xinhua.

Individual tourists accounted for 57 percent of all mainland tourists during the five-month period.

Before July 2003, mainland residents could only travel to Hong Kong to visit relatives, on business trips or in groups.

Residents of 49 cities in 22 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions -- some 200 million people -- now may visit Hong Kong individually.

(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2009)

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