The HVS Greater China update - 4th Quarter 2015
Hong Kong is slowly regaining in key source markets that were overshadowed by years of rapid growth in mainland Chinese visitor arrivals
Economic slowdown continued to affect tourism and hotel markets across Asia in the third quarter and in hopes to finish the year with strong performance, tourism bureaus and hotel markets relentlessly battled the struggles against the unfavourable economic shadows casted across Asia.
Third quarters are historically the peak seasons for Hong Kong tourism. The majority of international conferences and business meetings, as well as school summer holidays, take place during this period. 2015 resonates with the trend as visitor arrivals recorded 15.1 million this quarter.
Although arrivals recovered from the dip in the second quarter, overall arrivals are still down 6.4% compared to third quarter in 2014. Almost all key feeder markets posted negative year-on-year (YoY) changes compared to same time in 2014, with the exception of USA which registered a 0.6% YoY increase at 264,000 arrivals.
Mainland Chinese visitors continued to dominate with a market share of 78.9%; 11.9 million arrivals were recorded in the third quarter. The pressure from the decline in the number of Chinese visitors, however, remains evident in 2015 with three consecutive quarters posting negative YoY changes.
At the same time, the globalisation of tourism encourages Chinese visitors to discover destinations outside of Asia and regionally Japan is becoming increasingly popular. While Mainland China posted a 7.3% YoY decrease, South Korea was negatively impacted as a result of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in June.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board reported 265,000 visitor arrivals from South Korea, a significant 20.3% YoY decrease compared to same quarter in 2014. At a smaller scale, Taiwan and Japan visitor arrivals both dropped slightly by 2.2% compared to third quarter in 2014, registering 543,000 and 290,000 arrivals.
The situation of overnight visitor arrivals mirrored that of total visitor arrivals as overnight visitor arrivals represent 46.4% of total visitor arrivals.
Overnight visitor arrivals also recovered from previous quarter due to visitation seasonality with 7 million arrivals. Slightly more affected than same day visitor arrivals overnight visitor arrivals registered a 6.7% YoY decline or approximately 515,000 fewer arrivals, compared to same period in 2014. Mainland China and South Korea suffered setbacks in the quarter.
There were 5 million Chinese overnight arrivals, 8.4% YoY decrease, and 195,000 South Korean overnight arrivals, 20.4% YoY decrease.
On the bright side, USA, Taiwan, and Japan posted positive visitor arrivals YoY changes for the quarter. USA registered 186,000 arrivals at 1.9% YoY increase, Taiwan 237,000 at 1.8%, and Japan 174,000 at 0.4%.
This trend shows that Hong Kong is slowly regaining in key source markets that were overshadowed by years of rapid growth in mainland Chinese visitor arrivals
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