Hong Kong welcomed 34 million visitors in 2011 so far

Figures released by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) earlier this week show that visitor arrivals to Hong Kong rose by 16.4 percent year-on-year to 3,794,076 in October 2011, and by 16.2 percent to 34,217,497 in the first 10 months of 2011.

In October, visitor arrivals from Mainland China surged by 24.9 percent to beyond 2.5 million. The Hong Kong Tourism Board said such growth could be attributed to not only the Golden Week holiday, but also the large number of trade fairs and trade shows during October, including the autumn edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, electronicAsia and the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, as well as sourcing fairs for gifts and premiums.

Of the total Mainland China arrivals in October, 65.1 percent or over 1.65 million travelled under the Individual Visit Scheme, representing a 27.4 percent-rise compared to the same period last year. In the first 10 months of 2011, Mainland arrivals cumulated to around 23 million, 23.7 percent higher than the figure for last year.

The short-haul market regions also recorded growth in October, with North Asia showing the best performance. In Japan, with the recovery of consumers’ sentiments for outbound travel, arrivals to Hong Kong increased by 4.6 percent year-on-year to over 100,000. For South Korea, the market sustained its robust growth since the beginning of the year, with arrivals up by 15.6 percent to nearly 77,000. In terms of overall arrivals from North Asia, the number climbed up by 9.0 percent to pass 180,000 in October alone, and by 3.7 percent to above 1.87 million between January and October.

Another region with satisfactory performance was Southeast Asia. Notwithstanding a slight drop of 3.7 percent in Thailand due to the flooding in the country, total arrivals went up by 8.7 percent to almost 260,000 in October. Cumulatively, the region enjoyed growth of 9.6 percent to more than 2.5 million arrivals, with double-digit increase registered in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

In Taiwan, arrivals grew by 2.2 percent in October to some 180,000. In particular, overnight arrivals with greater spending rose by 19.8 percent year-on-year and took up 34.1 percent of the island’s total arrivals. Between January and October, Taiwanese arrivals stood at 1.82 million, similar to last year’s figure.

As for the long-haul markets, the slow recovery of the American economy and the European debt crisis have dampened the travel propensity of consumers, causing arrivals to fall by 1.8 percent in October. Nevertheless, the cumulative long-haul arrivals still rose by 1.5 percent to about 4 million.

Overnight Visitors Vs. Same-day In-town Visitors
In October, overnight visitor arrivals amounted to around 1.95 million, representing a 12.5 percent-increase year-on-year and 51.4 percent of all arrivals to Hong Kong in the month. Same-day arrivals surged by 20.9 percent to exceed 1.84 million.

In the first 10 months of 2011, overnight arrivals surpassed 18.24 million (+10.9 percent), accounting for 53.3 percent of overall arrivals. Meanwhile, same-day arrivals exceeded 15.97 million, 23.0 percent more than the same period last year.