HOTELS & TOURISM | Tony Chua, Hong Kong

October visitor arrivals up 16%

Golden Week holiday and trade shows pushed Mainland visitor arrivals up to 24.9%.

Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong rose 16.4% year-on-year to 3,794,076 in October, and 16.2% to 34,217,497 in the first 10 months of 2011, the Tourism Board says in a report.

In October, Mainland visitor arrivals rose 24.9% to more than 2.5 million, due to the Golden Week holiday and trade shows.

Of the total Mainland arrivals during the month, 65.1%, or more than 1.65 million, travelled under the individual visit scheme, representing a 27.4% rise on the same period last year. In the first 10 months of 2011, there were 23 million Mainland arrivals, 23.7% higher than the figure for last year.

The short-haul market regions also recorded growth in October, with North Asia showing the best performance. In Japan, with its recovery in outbound travel, arrivals to Hong Kong increased 4.6% year-on-year to more than 100,000.

South Korean arrivals were up 15.6% to nearly 77,000. In terms of overall arrivals from North Asia, the number climbed 9% to pass 180,000 in October alone, and by 3.7% to above 1.87 million between January and October.

Even with a 3.7% drop in Thai arrivals due to the flooding in the country, total arrivals from Southeast Asia went up by 8.7% to almost 260,000 in October. The region’s arrivals grew 9.6% to more than 2.5 million, with double-digit increases registered for Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Arrivals from Taiwan grew 2.2% in October, to 180,000. In particular, overnight arrivals with greater spending rose 19.8% year-on-year and took up 34.1% of the island’s total arrivals. Between January and October, Taiwanese arrivals stood at 1.82 million, similar to last year’s figure.

For the long-haul markets, the slow recovery of the US economy and the European debt crisis caused arrivals to fall 1.8% in October. Cumulative long-haul arrivals still rose 1.5% to four million.

In October, overnight visitor arrivals amounted to 1.95 million, a 12.5% increase year-on-year and 51.4% of all arrivals to Hong Kong in the month. Same-day arrivals rose 20.9% to more than 1.84 million.

In the first 10 months of 2011, overnight arrivals surpassed 18.24 million (+10.9%), accounting for 53.3% of overall arrivals. Same-day arrivals exceeded 15.97 million, 23% more than the same period last year.

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