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Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in May 2010

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 In May 2010 visitor arrivals to Hong Kong rose by 38.9% year-on-year to reach a record-breaking 2,815,295 - the highest ever for the month of May. This brought the accumulative visitor arrivals for the first five months of this year to 14,236,294, 19.9% more than in the same period last year. Both the arrival figures for May alone and for the first five months have surpassed the levels in the same periods of 2008, before the financial crisis occurred. (Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in April 2010, Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in May 2009 and Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in May 2008)

In May 2010, all market regions registered strong gain in visitor arrivals. Factors attributing to the significant increase included the improving global economic environment that has stimulated travel sentiments, as well as a relatively lower arrival base last May, when arrivals were impacted by the human swine influenza.

Continuing their robust growth pattern, visitor arrivals from Mainland China this May were marked by a great leap from last year’s number (+46.8%). Not only did arrivals during the Labour Day holiday showed strong growth, but the entire May also saw steady increase in Mainland arrivals, a testament that Hong Kong has become a popular destination for short-break vacation among Mainland visitors.

For long-haul market regions, such as Europe and the Americas, arrivals did not seem to have been affected by the European debt crisis. Overall, long-haul arrivals went up by 15% in May, and the visitor numbers for the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East have returned to the pre-financial crisis level.

As for other short-haul markets, South and Southeast Asia was the best performer in terms of visitor arrivals. The outstanding performance (+48.5%) can be attributed to increasing travel propensity and the gradual resumption of flights to the level prior to the financial crisis. The appreciation of the YEN and WON currencies also contributed to greater travel sentiments in Japan and Korea, leading to an increase of 39.8% and 44.6% in arrivals from these two countries respectively. Meanwhile, arrivals from Taiwan rose by 14% because of a greater number of vacation travellers from the island.

Emerging markets witnessed dramatic growth, as exemplified by arrivals from Russia. As a result of visa-free arrangements, arrivals from the country have more than doubled (+169.2%) for five months in a row. India also recorded double-digit growth in arrivals for 11 consecutive months, with arrivals in May showing 78.7%-increase year-one-year.

In May 2010, 56.6% of all visitors to Hong Kong, or 1,594,168 visitors, stayed in the city overnight. The number was a 38.6% rise compared to the same month last year. Overnight visitor arrivals from most market regions registered notable growth. The increase was especially remarkable in the short-haul markets, including Mainland China (+47.4%), North Asia (+39.8%), and South and Southeast Asia (+49.8%).

Accumulatively, overnight visitors between January and May this year totalled 8,012,198, making up 56.3% of all visitors to Hong Kong, a year-on-year rise of 17.3%.

Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals from Different Market Regions in May 2010 and from January to May 2010

  May January to May
Market Regions 2010 Vs. 2009 2010 Vs. 2009
Long-haul markets 372,071 +15.5% 1,904,229 +10.5%
The Americas 144,926 +16.7% 699,034 +10.2%
Europe, Africa and the Middle East 169,282 +17.4% 898,692 +11.4%
Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific 57,863 +7.7% 306,503 +8.6%
Short-haul markets (excl. Mainland China & Macau) 675,004 +36.4% 3,130,422 +18.4%
North Asia 179,804 +41.6% 900,124 +23.0%
South and Southeast Asia 326,439 +48.5% 1,345,267 +21.2%
Taiwan 168,761 +14.0% 885,031 +10.3%
Mainland China 1,713,687 +46.8%  8,923,137 +23.1%
Total (includes arrivals from Macau SAR) 2,815,295 +38.9% 14,236,294 +19.9%

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in April 2010, Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in May 2009 and Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in May 2008

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