The number of tourist arrivals in Macao hit a record of more than 10 million in 2001, thanks to a more attractive image of the special administrative region (SAR).
The Statistics and Census Services announced Thursday that the SAR received a total of 10.28 million tourists last year, jumping 12.2 percent from the year 2000.
Hong Kong remained the largest tourist source with 5.2 million visitors to Macao, but the year-on-year increase stood at a mere 4. 9 percent.
And those from China's interior, Taiwan, southeast Asia and Japan made up 29.2 percent, 14.1 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, of the total, statistics show.
August saw the monthly record of more than one million tourists in Macao.
Joao M. Costa Antunes, director of the Tourist Office, told Xinhua that "it is a piece of good news for Macao" when the global tourism industry has been suffering from the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11 and the flagging world economy.
He said that the next priority is to make tourists stay longer and spend more in Macao, given the fact that the number of 10 million visitors is already very large for a small city as Macao.
Statistics also show that of the arrivals in 2001, 43.2 percent were one-day visitors.
In December, Macao played host to 901,400 tourists, up 11.4 percent on an annual basis.