Total visitor numbers have risen by 47 per cent since 1997, an increase largely attributable to the surge in visitor arrivals from the Mainland. These have soared from 2.36 million to 6.83 million, making the Mainland the largest source market. To maintain and further enhance Hong Kong's position as the premier city tourist destination in Asia, the Government endeavours to enhance tourist attractions and facilities, upgrade service standards, promote a hospitable culture in the community and facilitate the entry of visitors. It will continue to work closely with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the trade in promoting tourism development.

TOURISM is one of the major economic pillars of Hong Kong.

    Visitor arrivals in 2002 rose to 16.57 million, representing an increase of 20.7 per cent over 2001. This growth was driven by a substantial increase in Mainland visitors as a result of a number of measures to facilitate entry for tour groups and business travellers. The number of Mainland visitors increased spectacularly by 53.4 per cent to 6.83 million. For other major markets, visitors from South and South-East Asia rose by 9.1 per cent; from Europe, Africa and the Middle East by 7.8 per cent; from the Americas by 7 per cent; and from North Asia by 5.1 per cent. Arrivals from Taiwan rose by 0.4 per cent.