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Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in June and H1 2011

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Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in the first six months of 2011 amounted to 19,331,181, a year-on-year increase of 14.7%, the highest half-yearly figure ever recorded.

The month of June also saw robust growth, with arrivals increasing by 15.9% to 3,035,222.

Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Chairman, Mr James Tien, said, “We are strongly encouraged that visitor arrivals to Hong Kong reached a new high in the first half of this year, with all major source markets achieving steady growth. In particular, arrivals from Mainland China increased by more than 20% to over 12 million, as a result of the Individual Visit Scheme policy and the positive economic environment, which have largely boosted consumers’ propensity for spending and outbound travel. While Mainland China was the leading growth driver, short-haul markets also attained satisfactory performance, with South Korea and various Southeast Asian markets recording double-digit growth. There was also sustained growth in overnight arrivals from Taiwan, despite further expansion of the cross-strait direct links, causing total arrivals from the island to remain at about the same level as last year.

“Looking into the second half of the year, we expect the growth momentum to continue. We have already lined up a series of mega events and promotions to enhance Hong Kong’s appeal and stimulate consumers’ desire to visit the city. Meanwhile, we are also closely monitoring the development of the European and American financial markets, which might impact the global economy and tourism. We will continue our flexible approach and adapt our marketing strategies in the light of the latest market trends.”

In the first six months of 2011, Mainland China remained the leading source market of Hong Kong, with arrivals increased by 21.1% to over 12 million. Of these, overnight arrivals went up by 11.8% to 6.13 million. Meanwhile, 64.5% or close to 8.2 million came under the Individual Visit Scheme, 28.6% more than the same period last year.

In June 2011, the number of Mainland arrivals increased by 23.1% year-on-year to more than 1.92 million. This marked the fourth consecutive month since March 2011 in which growth of over 20% was registered for the Mainland market.

For the short-haul markets, arrivals exceeded 3.93 million in the first half of 2011, 4% more than the figure of last year. The star performer was South Korea, the half-yearly arrivals of which rose by 18.6% to close to half a million, as the country’s steady economy and strong currency have encouraged outbound travel by consumers. In June alone, South Korean arrivals went up by 37.3% to almost 80,000.

In Southeast Asia, the relatively stable political and economic conditions, coupled with the increased flights to Hong Kong, as well as competitively-priced air tickets and packages by the travel trade, have motivated more consumers to travel around the region. As a result, the half-yearly arrivals from the region increased by 9.3% to around 1.5 million. Satisfactory performance was also recorded for June 2011, with arrivals from Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand up by 26%, 20.9% and 32.1% respectively.

As for Taiwan, cumulative arrivals were similar to last year at 1.05 million. Notwithstanding the sustained impact of the cross-strait direct links on same-day visitors, the number of overnight visitors with higher spending continued to increase, and was 11% higher than last year. In June alone, overnight Taiwanese arrivals surged by 32.9%, bringing overall arrivals from the island up by 7.7% to surpass 180,000.

In Japan, the impact of the earthquake and related incidents in March 2011 had dampened consumers’ desire to travel, causing arrivals from the country to decline by 6.9% to slightly below 600,000 in the first half of the year. In the month of June, arrivals from the market reached about 92,000. Although the figure represented an 11.2% decrease year-on-year, the declining trend has slowed down and stabilised, indicating that the negative impact of the incidents on outbound travel is beginning to lessen.

Moving to the long-haul markets, overall arrivals increased by 3.0% to more than 2.31 million in the first six months. While the performance between individual markets varied, the Americas took the lead with a growth rate of 6%. The emerging market of Russia also achieved notable performance, with arrivals up by over 50% in both June and during the first six months of the year, the latter figure reaching nearly 60,000.

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in June 2010 and H1 2010 and Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in June 2009.

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