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Visitors from the mainland to Hong Kong grew to 28.1 million in 2011, about 67 percent of the total, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported Wednesday.
The total number of visitors hit a record 42 million in 2011, up 16.4 percent from 2010, said Gregory So Kam-leung, secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong.
Individual visitors from the mainland surged from 670,000 in 2003 to 18.3 million in 2011, under a special program that allows tourists from the mainland to visit Hong Kong on an individual basis, accounting for 65.3 percent of total mainland tourists, said Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong.
The tourists spent a total of 263.1 billion yuan ($41.36 billion) in 2011, led by the program, Tung said.
Since 2003, individual mainland visitors to Hong Kong from 49 cities totaled 78.47 million, Tung added.