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Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in February 2010

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Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong reached 2,866,053 in February 2010, a figure which not only represents a growth of 32.5% on the equivalent figure for February 2009, but also sets a record for the month of February. The key reason for the strong growth was a surge of Mainland arrivals during the Lunar New Year Golden Week, which fell in February this year but January last year.

Notwithstanding the seasonal impact of Lunar New Year, the combined figures of January and February showed a consistent trend for growth, reflecting the recovery in global economy and improved consumer sentiment to travel. For the first two months of 2010, total arrivals stood at 5,826,372, 17.5% ahead of the same period last year.

In addition, all long and short-haul market regions showed positive growth. Standing at the forefront was Mainland China, with arrivals increasing by 21%. The robust performance was mainly driven by the Mainlands implementation of measures to facilitate individual visits to Hong Kong by Shenzhen residents.

Other short-haul regions also registered double-digit gain in arrivals, namely South and Southeast Asia (+13.5%), North Asia (+12.7%) and Taiwan (+12.7%). The growth in Taiwan, which was spurred by increase in vacation visitors, was especially encouraging given the impact of the direct links. As for the individual markets, both India (+32.5%) and South Korea (+37.6%) achieved significant growth, as a result of increased flight capacity and appreciation of the won currency respectively.

For the long-haul market regions, while business travel, which accounts for an important share of long-haul arrivals, is always quieter around the Lunar New Year period, the aggregate January and February figures showed an increase of 9% in arrivals from these regions. Europe, Africa and the Middle East continued to be the leading performer with a 9.9% growth, while arrivals from The Americas and from Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific increased by 7.9% and 9% respectively.

For the first two months of 2010, both overnight and same-day arrivals showed increase of 13.8% and 22.5% respectively.

In terms of their proportion, some 56.0% of all arrivals stayed in the city for at least one night, compared with 57.8% last year. All market regions, except Mainland China, enjoyed a higher percentage of overnight visitors, as led by the growth in vacation visitors, especially from the short-haul regions, to Hong Kong.

As for same-day visitors, the proportion has increased from 42.2% in Jan-Feb 2009 to 44% this year, which reflects the significant growth in same-day visits by travellers in Mainland China, especially with the implementation of measures on individual visits by Shenzhen residents.

Hotel occupancy across all categories of hotels in February 2010 was 79%, 3 percentage points higher than in February 2009. The geographic locations with the highest occupancy were Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok, where hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 84%. The average achieved hotel room rate across all hotel categories was HK$1,038, 2.4% higher than in February 2009.

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in January 2010, January 2009, February 2009

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