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The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced today (9 August) that about 12 million overnight visitor arrivals were recorded between January and June this year, representing an 8.7% year-on-year increase and 47.1% of all visitor arrivals during the period. The table below shows the breakdown of overnight visitor arrivals from the various market regions in the first half of 2013:
Jan to June 2013 vs. the same period in 2012
Total* - 11,940,611 / +8.7%
Mainland China - 7,843,684 / +16.2%
Short-haul Markets - 2,271,932 / -4.2%
Taiwan - 359,539 / +4.1%
Japan - 287,007 / -29.1%
South Korea - 343,998 / -2.8%
Indonesia - 169,385 / +1.0%
Malaysia - 197,428 / -3.4%
The Philippines - 310,491 / +0.2%
Singapore - 224,937 / -7.6%
Thailand - 211,292 / +15.0%
Others - 167,855 / +6.5%
Long-haul Markets - 1,512,663 / -4.1%
The US - 392,385 / -7.4%
Canada - 121,146 / -11.5%
The UK - 216,288 / -4.0%
France - 77,283 / -1.4%
Germany - 76,329 / -4.9%
Australia - 234,520 / -5.0%
Others - 394,712 / +2.3%
New Markets - 312,332 / +7.2%
India - 149,947 / +1.7%
Gulf Co-operation Council** - 17,915 / +11.3%
Russia - 79,302 / +24.6%
The Netherlands - 30,083 / -9.5%
Vietnam - 35,085 / +13.8%
* Total figure includes arrivals from Macau SAR
**Including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
In the first half of the year, overnight arrivals from Mainland China reached 7.84 million, 16.2% more than in the same period in 2012. According to an HKTB survey, the number of overnight Mainland visitors who came to Hong Kong for vacation grew 19.4%, with growth from both Guangdong Province (+20.7%) and non-Guangdong areas (+18.5%).
In the same period, short-haul arrivals to Hong Kong dropped 4.2% year-on-year, since Japan drew away many regional travelers with its weak YEN. By market, overnight arrivals from Japan fell 29.1%. Taiwan, however, registered a 4.1% increase in overnight arrivals, which could be attributed to the free, online, pre-arrival, visa-registration service offered to Taiwan residents by the Hong Kong SAR Government. Also, direct cross-strait flights diverted business travelers, leaving more available airline seats for vacation travelers from Taiwan. In addition, overnight arrivals from Thailand rose 15.0%.
As for long-haul markets, under the impact of volatile economic conditions, there was a 4.1% decrease in overnight long-haul arrivals to Hong Kong.
The new markets achieved satisfactory results, with overnight arrivals up 7.2%, mainly because of increased flight capacity. Russia saw particularly robust growth, with overnight arrivals up 24.6% and overall arrivals rising 26.3% to about 120,000, making Russia Hong Kongs second biggest European market, just after the UK. Also recording growth in overnight arrivals to Hong Kong were India, the Gulf Co-operation Council region and Vietnam.
Overall, Hong Kong received a total of 25.36 million visitor arrivals in the first half of 2013, up 13.6% from the corresponding period in 2012.
Major overseas promotions in the second half of 2013
In the second half of the year, the HKTB will launch a series of market promotions to further attract overnight visitors and open up new visitor sources:
Joint promotions with the trade
- Long-haul markets: The HKTB will participate in large-scale trade shows in different visitor source markets, including the World Travel Market in London, England in November.
- Short-haul markets: During major promotional periods, such as the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival and Hong Kong WinterFest, the HKTB plans to launch special tourism products to encourage visitors to extend their stay in Hong Kong.
Initiatives in new markets
- India: Riding on a novel recently published in partnership with a popular young Indian writer, the HKTB is going to organize a contest with the help of a film school in India to produce short films based on the novel, which is set in Hong Kong.
- Russia: After launching the first travel guide on Hong Kong in Russian, the HKTB will actively promote Hong Kong as the preferred travel destination for a winter getaway, a popular travel season for Russian holidaymakers.
- The Middle East: Following the publication of an Arabic travel guide on Hong Kong targeting family visitors, the HKTB will continue to maintain Hong Kongs presence in the Middle East by organizing a consumer promotion at a large shopping mall in Dubai.
Fostering cruise tourism
- The HKTB will attend Cruise Shipping Pacific in Singapore in October to showcase Hong Kongs competitive edge in the cruise industry.
- Together with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, the HKTB came to an agreement with Royal Caribbean International, which will deploy the cruise ship Mariner of the Seas to Hong Kong and Taiwan on 29 October and 2 November, with Hong Kong as the home port.
- The HKTB will continue to maintain close working relationships with regional port authorities to promote the development of regional cruise tourism and encourage international cruise companies to develop itineraries featuring Hong Kong.
Visitor arrivals mentioned in this release include both overnight visitors and same-day, in-town visitors. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), visitors are divided into two categories:
(i) tourists or overnight visitors, if the trip involves an overnight stay; and
(ii) same-day visitors or excursionists, if the trip does not involve an overnight stay.