HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Tourist arrivals up 5.7% to 5.46 million in July but shows sign of slowing

There was a notable decline in Asian tourist volume particularly in Indonesia and Philippines.

Hong Kong’s tourism sector maintained its positive momentum after visitor arrivals rose 5.7% YoY to 5.46 million in July although the market appears to be showing signs of deceleration, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). 

Visitors from the Mainland remained the strongest growth engine of the SAR’s tourism figures after visitor arrivals extended its steep uptrend after growing 8% YoY to 4.40 million in July.

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However, the volume of tourist arrivals from markets other than non-Mainland China fell slightly by 3% to 1.06 million in July.

In fact, the short-haul market segment posted declining tourism figures after falling 6.2% YoY to 657,529 in July amidst a broad-based decline in visitors from Indonesia (-29.9%), the Philippines (-13.4%), South Korea (-10.8%) and Singapore (-5.7%). The number of tourists from another previously strong market, Taiwan, also fell 4.1% to 172,884.

Of this market segment, only visitor arrivals from Thailand and Japan eked out measly gains at 2.5% and 2% each.

There were also fewer tourists from new markets including India, Netherlands, Vietnam and GCC markets, pushing headline figures down 3.9% to 55,486 as positive tourism levels from Russia (+11.8%) failed to offset the decline across other markets.

To maintain the SAR’s strong tourism figures, HKTB chairman Peter Lam is eyeing a possible collaboration with Guangdong and Macau to promote the Greater Bay Area as a tourist attraction, according to an earlier report by South China Morning Post.

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“If the yuan situation and the trade war drag on, the city’s tourism will be affected,” he told SCMP. “We hope the new infrastructure – the bridge and high-speed rail services – [will help us] encourage visitors to stay longer in the city and make excursions to neighbouring areas across the border.”

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