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Mainland China Boost for Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in 2009

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Provisional figures for Hong Kong visitor arrivals in 2009 have reached 29.59 million, an increase of 0.3% over 2008, and ahead of the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s original forecast of a 1.6%-shortfall in 2009.

HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said that the HKTB is strongly encouraged by the year-end results. “Notwithstanding the serious challenges in 2009, our tourism industry achieved better-than-expected results, thanks to the concerted effort and tremendous support of our industry partners.

“During the first half of 2009, our tourism performance was severely impacted by the global financial crisis that emerged since the third quarter of 2008 and the outbreak of human swine influenza in May 2009,” Mr Tien explained. “However, starting from the third quarter of 2009, visitors’ concern about the outbreak gradually subsided while the economic conditions also improved. Simultaneously, the HKTB adapted its strategies flexibly and collaborated with the travel trade to step up its promotions. As a result, the negative arrival trend reversed in August and positive growth was sustained until the fourth quarter. In particular, the implementation of arrangements that facilitate multiple individual visits by permanent Shenzhen residents, as well as greater desire for outbound travel among Mainland visitors, have fuelled robust growth of the Mainland arrivals, contributing to the 0.3% gain in overall arrivals in 2009.”

Hong Kong recorded 17.69 million mainland China visitor arrivals in 2009, an increase of +6.5% over 2008. Short-haul markets (not including Mainland China) recorded 7.49 million visitor arrivals, an -8.6% drop over 2008, while long haul markets also recorded a loss, down -6.1%, with 4.41 million visitor arrivals.

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals for November 2009 and Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in 2008.

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