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Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in February 2011

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Hong Kong visitor arrivals in February 2011 amounted to 2,923,070, 2% higher than the same month last year.

Cumulative arrivals for the first two months of 2011, which reflected the full impact of the Lunar New Year, sustained double-digit growth of 11.9% to reach 6,521,100.

Past experiences have shown that many Mainland visitors used to come to Hong Kong for shopping and vacation before and during the Lunar New Year, leading to a surge in Mainland arrivals. This was reflected in the February arrival figure last year, when the Lunar New Year fell in the middle of the month. This year, however, the Lunar New Year effect began as early as late January, given that the festival fell in early February. As a result, Mainland arrivals remained at relatively the same level of around two million as in last February.

Nevertheless, for the first two months of 2011 combined, Mainland market growth stands at 15.2% to 4.51 million.

For the short-haul market regions, their cumulative arrivals increased by 5.6% to 1.2 million. In February alone, both North Asia (Japan and South Korea) and Southeast Asia achieved remarkable growth of 19.5% and 18.5% respectively. This could be attributed to the joint efforts of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and its trade partners to package the festive activities attractively to travellers in the region.

In spite of these encouraging results, the recent earthquake and related incidents in Japan are expected to impact consumersí sentiments to travel and in turn visitor arrivals from Japan to Hong Kong. As such, the HKTB has temporarily put on hold its promotions in the market, and is closely monitoring the situation, so that it can adapt its strategies and relaunch promotions as and when appropriate.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan, overnight arrivals in February were maintained at relatively the same level as in last February. However, the increased number of cross-strait direct flights and special airfare by the airlines during the Lunar New Year period led to a drop in same-day arrivals, causing the overall arrivals from Taiwan to decline by 12.1% year-on-year.

For the long-haul markets, notwithstanding the fact that the Lunar New Year month is a quieter season for business travel to Hong Kong, there was steady increase in arrivals during February. The Americas showed the best performance with a 9.1%-increase. For the first two months of this year, total long-haul arrivals exceeded 670,000, 3.7% more than the same period last year.

Moving to the three emerging markets, namely India, the Middle East and Russia, double-digit growth of 12.4%, 14.9% and 35.1% was recorded respectively in February.

Overnight Visitors vs. Same-Day, in-Town Visitors

In February 2011, 1.63 million or 56% of all visitors to Hong Kong stayed in the city overnight, 2.7% more than last year. Same-day in- town visitors also rose by 1.1% to more than 1.28 million.

For January and February combined, overnight visitors reached 3.42 million, representing 52.5% of all visitors to Hong Kong and an increase of 5.1%. Same-day visitors added up to 3.09 million, 20.6% more than last year.

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in February 2010 and Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in January 2011

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