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Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in August 2009

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Reversing the downward trend in the previous three months, visitor arrivals to Hong Kong reached 2,834,178 in August 2009, an increase of 5.8% year-on-year.

 The increase owed to the lower base of arrivals during the Olympics in August 2008, when visits by long-haul travellers were impacted by the Mainland visa policy adjustment, while many from the Mainland stayed home for the Olympic Games.

In August 2009, all long-haul market regions achieved positive gain, when compared with the substantial shortfall in the equivalent period last year. These included the Americas and Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which registered increase of 9.7% and 10.4% respectively.

As for the short-haul regions, North Asia continued to be affected by the decrease in outbound travel in South Korea. Nevertheless, the gap has narrowed from -34.1% in May 2009 to -10.1% in August 2009. Similarly, Taiwan continued the downward trend owing to the impact of cross-strait direct links that allow many travellers to bypass Hong Kong. The shortfall has, however, narrowed to a single-digit 3.7%. On the other hand, Mainland China recorded a  year-on-year increase of 9.2%, as consumersí sentiment to travel improved.

Cumulative Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals for January-August 2009

From January to August 2009, total Hong Kong visitor arrivals reached 18,909,255, 3.4% lower than the same period last year. With the exception of Mainland China, which achieved positive gain of 2.6% in its arrivals year-to-date, all other long and short-haul markets continued to show negative growth.

For the long-haul regions, the cumulative arrivals decreased by 10.1% year-on-year to 2,699,633. As for the short-haul regions (excluding Mainland China and Macau), arrivals totalled 4,245,244, a shortfall of 12.7% over the same period of last year.

Overall, some 59.3% of all visitors to Hong Kong in August 2009 stayed in the city for at least one night, 1.1 percentage points lower than in the same month last year. The remaining 40.7% same-day in-town visitors either returned home or left for another destination on the same day they arrived.

From January to August 2009, close to 10.85 million or 57.4% of total arrivals stayed in the city for at least one night, compared with 58.7% during the same period last year. The remaining 8.06 million (42.6%) were classified as same-day in-town visitors.

Hotel occupancy across all categories of hotels in August 2009 was 82%, three percentage points lower than in August 2008. The geographic locations with the highest occupancy were Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok, where hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 87%. The average achieved hotel room rate across all hotel categories was HK$882, 20.3% lower than in August 2008.

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in July 2009 and Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in August 2008.

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