Hong Kong draws 12 m tourists in 1H 2013

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hong Kong recorded around 12 million overnight visitor arrivals between January and June 2013, an 8.7% year-on-year increase and 47.1% of all visitor arrivals during the period. In the first half of the year, overnight arrivals from Mainland China reached 7.84 million, 16.2% more than in the same period in 2012. According to a Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) survey, the number of overnight Mainland visitors who came to Hong Kong on vacation grew 19.4%, with growth from both Guangdong Province (+20.7%) and non-Guangdong areas (+18.5%). In the same period, short-haul arrivals to Hong Kong dropped 4.2% year-on-year, since Japan drew away many regional travellers with its weak yen. By market, overnight arrivals from Japan fell 29.1%. Taiwan, however, registered a 4.1% increase in overnight arrivals, which could be attributed to the free, online, pre-arrival, visa-registration service offered to Taiwan residents by the Hong Kong SAR Government. Also, direct cross-strait flights diverted business travellers, leaving more available airline seats for vacation travellers from Taiwan. In addition, overnight arrivals from Thailand rose 15.0%. As for long-haul markets, under the impact of volatile economic conditions, there was a 4.1% decrease in overnight long-haul arrivals to Hong Kong. The new markets achieved satisfactory results, with overnight arrivals up 7.2%, mainly because of increased flight capacity. Russia saw particularly robust growth, with overnight arrivals up 24.6% and overall arrivals rising 26.3% to about 120,000, making Russia Hong Kong’s second biggest European market, just after the UK. Also, recording growth in overnight arrivals to Hong Kong were India, the Gulf Co-operation Council region and Vietnam. Overall, Hong Kong received a total of 25.36 million visitor arrivals in the first half of 2013, up 13.6% from the corresponding period in 2012. In the second half of the year, the HKTB will launch a series of market promotions to further attract overnight visitors and open up new visitor sources. Long-haul markets: The HKTB will participate in large-scale trade shows in different visitor source markets, including the World Travel Market in London in November. Short-haul markets: During major promotional periods, such as the ‘Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival’ and ‘Hong Kong WinterFest’, the HKTB plans to launch special tourism products to encourage visitors to extend their stay in Hong Kong. Initiatives in new markets India: Riding on a novel recently published in partnership with a popular young Indian writer, the HKTB is going to organise a contest with the help of a film school in India to produce short films based on the novel, which is set in Hong Kong. Russia: After launching the first travel guide on Hong Kong in Russian, the HKTB will actively promote Hong Kong as the preferred travel destination for a winter getaway, a popular travel season for Russian holidaymakers. The Middle East: Following the publication of an Arabic travel guide on Hong Kong targeting family visitors, the HKTB will continue to maintain Hong Kong’s presence in the Middle East by organising a consumer promotion at a large shopping mall in Dubai. Cruise tourism The HKTB will attend Cruise Shipping Pacific in Singapore in October to showcase Hong Kong’s competitive edge in the cruise industry. Together with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, the HKTB came to an agreement with Royal Caribbean International, which will deploy the cruise ship Mariner of the Seas to Hong Kong and Taiwan on 29 October and 2 November, with Hong Kong as the home port.