The arrival growth in July was driven primarily by the short-haul markets, especially Mainland China, South Korea and Southeast Asia. Travel sentiments in these markets were encouraged not just by sustainable economic growth in the region, but were also heightened by the tactical promotions launched by the travel trade, which has been working closely with the HKTB to drive visits to Hong Kong during the peak summer travel season.
In July alone, visitor arrivals from Mainland China jumped by 33.1% over the same month last year to 2.67 million, the highest-ever single-month record for the market. Those who made their trips under the Individual Visit Scheme accounted for 66.7% of the overall Mainland arrivals or over 1.78 million, 37.1% more than July 2010.
Among the short-haul markets, South Korea performed best with growth of 17.9% to nearly 90,000 arrivals in July. This could be attributed to the economic stability in the country and the appreciation of the South Korean WON, both of which boosted the travel sentiments among the consumers.
In Southeast Asia, arrivals rose steadily by 8.4% to surpass 250,000. Within the market region, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia achieved double-digit growth at 16.3%, 15.4% and 12.8% respectively.
Satisfactory performance was also observed in the Taiwanese market. Notwithstanding the impact of cross-strait direct flights on same-day arrivals, the number of overnight visitors with greater spending rose by more than 10% to around 90,000 in July, and by 10.9% in the first seven months of the year. In July, overall arrivals from the market went up by 3.1% to over 210,000.
Meanwhile, in Japan, travel propensity gradually recovered as the impact of the March 11 earthquake and related incidents lessened. In July, Japanese arrivals added up to around 100,000, a mild decline of 3.4% in comparison with the same month last year.
In the long-haul market regions, arrivals remained at similar level as in last July, with Europe, Africa and the Middle East registering slight decline of 0.4% due to the European debt crisis and political unrest in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the emerging market of Russia was unscathed and showed double-digit growth of 52.5%.
Overnight Visitors Vs. Same-day In-town Visitors
In July, overnight visitor arrivals rose by 17.1% to exceed 2.14 million, accounting for 55.8% of all visitor arrivals to Hong Kong. Same-day visitor arrivals also went up by 29.8% to approximately 1.7 million.
Between January and July, overnight arrivals grew by 9.9% to more than 12.42 million or 53.6% of all arrivals to Hong Kong. Same-day arrivals amounted to more than 10.74 million, a 23.7%-rise year-on-year.
Also in Asia today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Hong Kong.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
HongKong.city.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.