Travel and Lifestyle Press Releases Tuesday August 4, 2009 09:07
Bangkok--4 Aug--Francom Asia

Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong reached 13,696,779 in the first six months of 2009, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced today (3 August). This represents a decrease of 3.4% over the same period last year.

Commenting on the half-yearly performance, HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said: “Hong Kong managed to achieve growth of 1.5% in overall arrivals in the first four months of this year, with Mainland China registering increase of more than 10%. The positive trend was, however, reversed in May and June, following the outbreak of human swine flu, leading to decline of arrivals from both long- and short-haul regions by more than 10% to 20% in those two months. In view of the current market sentiments, we expect the decline will likely continue into July and August.

“To reduce the arrivals shortfall, the HKTB has already strengthened our promotions in Mainland China and short-haul markets this summer,” Mr Tien continued. “We will continue to reinforce our promotions in the coming few months, and have already made plans to roll out a series of mega events, so that we can further enhance Hong Kong’s appeal and create a business platform for our tourism-related sectors.”

January to June 2009 Visitor Arrivals

Among various regional source markets, Mainland China achieved positive growth of 4.6% to 8.26 million arrivals in the first six months of 2009. Overall, arrivals from the short-haul regions decreased by a marginal 1.3%, with North Asia showing a 25.4%-decline, as outbound travel in both Japan and South Korea was affected by the weak economy, and further hurt by the human swine flu. Arrivals from Taiwan also dropped by 13.1%, as the impact of cross-strait direct links became more and more apparent.

For the long-haul regions, demand for travel remained weak amid the economic downturn. As a result, arrivals dipped by 14.0%. The table below summarises visitor arrivals from different market regions in the first half of 2009 and in June 2009:

January – June                                         June
Market Regions                             2009         Change vs. 2008   2009       Change vs. 2008
The Americas                               752,378     -14.8%           118,063     -10.6%
Europe, Africa and the Middle East         934,737     -14.2%           127,728     -8.5%
Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific   336,279     -11.6%           54,168     -11.5%
North Asia                                 845,764     -25.4%           113,809     -37.2%
South and Southeast Asia                   1,328,236   -6.6%             218,421     -13.5%
Taiwan                                     942,566     -13.1%           139,903     -23.9%
Mainland China                             8,261,925   +4.6%             1,012,386   -11.6%
Total*                                     13,696,779   -3.4%             1,826,004   -15.0%
* Figure includes arrivals from Macau SAR
Overnight vs. Same-Day, in-Town Visitors

Overall, some 54.2% of all visitors to Hong Kong in June stayed in the city for at least one night, 4.3 percentage points lower than in the same month last year. The remaining 45.8% same-day in-town visitors either returned home or left for another destination on the same day they arrived.

From January to June 2009, close to 7.82 million or 57.1% of total arrivals stayed in the city for at least one night, compared with 58.2% in the same period last year. The remaining 5.88 million (42.9%) were classified as same-day in-town visitors.

Hotel Occupancy

Hotel occupancy across all categories of hotels in June 2009 was 61%, 20 percentage points lower than in June 2008. The geographic locations with the highest occupancy were Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok, where hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 71%. The average achieved hotel room rate across all hotel categories was HK$901, 20.2% lower than in June 2008.

From January to June 2009, hotel occupancy across all categories of hotel was 74%, as compared with 83% in the same months of last year. The average achieved hotel room rate across all hotel categories was HK$1,026, 17.1% below that of the same period in 2008.

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.
Media can download the press release from the HKTB’s website:
For media enquiries, please contact:
Hong Kong Media
Ms Lisa Chan
Tel: 2807 6173
Fax: 2503 6173
Mainland China, Taiwan,
South & Southeast Asia Media
Miss Amy Lam
Tel: 2807 6373
Fax: 2503 6113
Long-haul Regions and
North Asia Media
Miss Mayee Tang
Tel: 2807 6239
Fax: 2503 6595
During non-office hours, please contact:
Hong Kong media: 8200 7860; Mainland and overseas media: 8100 8935.

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