In the first eight months of 2011, visitor arrivals amounted to 27,236,330, a 16.2%-increase compared to the same period last year.
Commenting on the new single-month record, HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said: “We are encouraged by the tourism performance in August. Summer has always been a peak season for travel among short-haul visitors. Following a historic high of 3.8 million arrivals in July, this is the second month in a row that arrivals set a new monthly record.
“Overall, during the summer period from June to August, we welcomed a total of 10,940,371 arrivals, 18.8% more than the corresponding period last year. Both Mainland China and Southeast Asia achieved outstanding performance, mainly because of the favourable economic climate and appreciation of currencies in these markets. In addition, the local travel trade also proactively launched timely promotions to make the best of the business opportunities arising from the peak travel season.
“Looking into the remaining months of this year, we expect Mainland China and the short-haul markets will continue to be the growth engine of our tourism. We project that Mainland arrivals will go up by around 8% to 10% during the National Day Golden Week. The HKTB has already planned for a series of promotions, which will be rolled out in the coming months to keep up the growth momentum.”
In August, visitor arrivals from Mainland China grew by 23% year-on-year to exceed 2.91 million, making it the highest-ever Mainland arrival figure for a single month. Sustained growth of the Mainland economy and appreciation of the Renminbi provided extra incentive for Mainland holiday-makers, especially families, to cross the border to Hong Kong in summer. During August, more than 1.51 million, or over half (51.9%) of all Mainland arrivals were overnight visitors, 17.7% more than last year. Those who travelled under the Individual Visit Scheme reached 1.95 million, accounting for a 22.9%-increase year-on-year and 67% of all Mainland arrivals in the month.
Besides the Mainland, buoyant performance was also observed in the Southeast Asian markets, in which stable economies and increased flight capacity during the summer accentuated travel propensity. In August, arrivals from the market region surged by 25.2% to around 250,000. Double-digit growth was recorded for such markets as Malaysia (+28.6%), the Philippines (+10.8%) and Thailand (+10.6%), while Indonesian arrivals made a great jump of 120%.
In North Asia, South Korea sustained the upward trend in August, causing arrivals to increase by 16.4% to 104,831. As for Japan, arrivals rose by 1.6%, the first month positive growth was recorded for the market since the 311 earthquake in March 2011, an indication that consumers’ propensity for outbound travel is recovering.
In Taiwan, while cross-strait direct flights caused overall arrivals to fall by 3.7% in August, the higher-spending overnight visitor arrivals rose by 2.3%. In fact, the share of overnight visitors took up about 40% of all Taiwanese arrivals during the month. Between January and August 2011, overnight arrivals from the island increased by 9.7% to almost 550,000.
Further in the long-haul markets, there was milder growth in arrivals, owing to the unstable economic conditions, which have dampened consumers’ confidence. In August, arrivals from The Americas and from Europe, Africa and the Middle East measured an increase of 2.7% and 2.8% respectively, while that of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific remained more or less the same as last August.
Overnight Visitors Vs. Same-day In-town Visitors
In August alone, overnight visitor arrivals grew by 14.1% to over 2.23 million or 55% of all visitor arrivals to Hong Kong, whereas same-day arrivals increased by 22.4% to more than 1.83 million.
Between January and August, overnight arrivals made up 53.8% of all arrivals at about 14.66 million, 10.5% more than last year. Same-day arrivals went up by 23.5% to exceed 12.57 million.
Also in Asia today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Hong Kong.
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