Mainland tourism to Hong Kong hard hit in Q1 2015
Hong Kong received 10% fewer mainland tour groups during the last May Day weekend and hotels in the city were only filled to 70%-80% .
Hong Kong received 10% fewer mainland tour groups during the last May Day weekend and hotels in the city were only filled to 70%-80% during the period, according to estimates by the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong.
The council’s chairman Michael Wu thinks that Hong Kong is no longer high on the list of destinations for mainland groups. “When choosing destinations, mainland tour groups definitely pick Japan first, and then Korea and Taiwan. Hong Kong is the fourth and the last on the list, when they can’t get visa for other destinations. Many of those who come to Hong Kong leave from the airport straight away after crossing the Luowu border, without spending a dollar,” he observed.
The number of mainland tourists to Hong Kong in March this year fell for the third consecutive month, dropping by one million trips compared to February or 8.7% year on year, according to data released by Hong Kong Tourism Board. The number of overnight visitors from the mainland fell 18% in March compared with the same period last year.
The chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners Michael Li believed Hong Kong’s tourism is facing external and internal issues. “Other destinations are becoming cheaper, the yen is falling and it’s easier to get visas. The negative impression of Hong Kong caused by local anti-mainland sentiment didn’t help either,” he said.
As a result, Hong Kong hotel room rates have generally fallen by 10%. The tourism industry is launching a host of promotions in a desperate bid to curb the decline in tourist numbers. (Translation by David)