Author`s name AP ©

Hong Kong tourist visits up 12.6 percent in May

May visitor arrivals rose 12.6 percent on year to 2.2 million in Hong Kong with more than half coming from mainland China.

The city also reported double-digit growth in long-haul markets like Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific - which increased by 18.7 percent, or 59,507 visitors.

Strong growth also came from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which contributed a total 161,019 visitors - a 15.7 percent increase over last year, the Tourism Board said.

But mainland China continued to deliver the bulk of the tourists. In May, about 1.2 million mainlanders arrived, making up 55 percent of the total arrivals. The figure was 16 percent higher than the same time last year, the board said.

From January to May this year, Hong Kong recorded nearly 11 million visitors - a 6.7 percent increase compared to the same period in 2006, the board said.