China fuels record tourism arrivals to Hong Kong

China fuels record tourism arrivals to Hong Kong

A surge in visitors from mainland China led to Hong Kong posting a record number of monthly tourism arrivals.

In July, international arrival rose 3,136,794, a year-on-year increase of 31.9 percent. For the first seven months of this year, total visitor arrivals were 19,992,810, a 24.4 percent rise compared to the same period last year.

However arrivals were rising from a low base in 2009 when fears over the human swine flu pandemic hit arrivals. The gain in visitor arrivals in July 2010 is still strongly encouraging, with arrivals surpassing the July 2008 figure by 15.8 percent.

The growth in overall arrivals in July was led by Mainland China, with more than 2 million visitor arrivals, 40 percent more than July 2009.

Among other short-haul markets, South and Southeast Asia achieved nearly 40 percent increase in arrivals, due to greater confidence in the economic climate and increased flight capacity. Taiwan also recorded growth of 10.4 percent, buoyed by direct cross-strait flights.

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Meanwhile, visitor arrivals from the long-haul markets also grew steadily. Overall arrivals from these markets in July went up by 10.6 percent compared to the same month last year. As for the emerging markets, Russia, the Middle East and India registered growth of 86 percent, 47.5 percent and 44.9 percent respectively, propelled by such factors as economic recovery and more frequent flights.

In July 2010, overnight visitors exceeded 1.82 million. The figure was 35.7 percent more than in July 2009. The increase was contributed by the rise in overnight visitors from most market regions, especially short-haul markets, such as Taiwan (+46.1 percent), mainland China (+44.9 percent) and South and Southeast Asia (+42.7 percent).

Cumulatively, between January and July this year, overnight visitors amounted to 11.3 million, or 56.6 percent of all visitors to Hong Kong, a year-on-year increase of 23.3 percent.