Hong Kong inbound up 8%

Provisional figures issued by the Hong Kong Tourism Board show that the financial contribution from inbound tourism to Hong Kong’s economy in 2005 and 2006 should exceed projections by around HK$10 billion. Total expenditure associated to inbound tourism is likely to reach HK$117.3 billion in 2006, compared with an estimated HK$114.7 billion. Provisional per capita spending by same-day arrivals to Hong Kong in 2006 also grew to around HK$1,000, an increase of about HK$300 compared with 2004.

The tourism industry’s focus on high-yield visitor segments has resulted in an increase of around 30% in arrivals to conventions and exhibitions in 2006, compared with 2004. Arrivals by family visitors also grew by 13% compared with 2004, with visits by children aged 16 and under increasing by 30%.

Overall visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in 2006 increased by 8.1% to 25.25 million. Arrivals in December exceeded 2.4 million, setting an outright record for a single month. Visitor increases were also seen from all key markets in 2006, including South Korea (718,758; +11.9%); the UK (516,495, +11.2%); and the Philippines (454,036, +16.1%). High-performing emerging markets included the Middle East (+24.2%) and the Netherlands (+14.8%). Arrivals from Mainland China exceeded 13.5 million (+8.4%).

HKTB Chairman The Hon Mrs Selina Chow said that the increased spending, and growth from targeted segments reflect the emphasis on high-yield visitors. “We will continue to focus on attracting high-yield visitors in order to increase the contribution made by tourism to the overall economy,” she said. “While we will strive to maintain a balanced portfolio of visitors, we will also continue to target markets and segments with the highest potential in our marketing activities overseas.”

Mrs Chow added, “Although facing increasing competition from Mainland cities and Macau, the HKTB will work closely with their tourism authorities and trade to make Hong Kong an essential component in all combo and multi-destination itineraries.”