2010 Yearly Visitor Arrivals & Spending Hit New Heights

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced on 26th January that visitor arrivals in 2010 reached a historic high at 36,030,331, 21.8% more than in 2009.

The growth was led by a number of factors, including steady growth of the world’s economy, appreciation of most currencies against the Hong Kong dollar, as well as the expansion of the scope of the Individual Visit Scheme for Shenzhen residents by the Central Government. Also setting a milestone was the total tourism expenditure associated to inbound tourism, which amounted to HK$212.6 billion on a provisional basis, 30.5% higher than the 2009 figure.

The table below summarises arrivals from different market regions in 2010:

Market Regions


Vs 2009

Long-haul markets



The Americas



Europe, Africa and the Middle East



Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific



Short-haul markets
(excl. Mainland and Macau)



North Asia



South and Southeast Asia






Mainland China






* Total figure includes arrivals from Macau SAR

Visitor Arrivals
Mainland China continued to be the primary driver of growth in arrivals to Hong Kong in 2010, with arrivals climbing up by 26.3% year-on-year to 22.68 million, and accounting for 63% of total arrivals. Such buoyant performance underlines Hong Kong’s popularity as a travel destination for Mainland travellers.

Across the strait in Taiwan, yearly arrivals grew by 7.7% to over 2.16 million, despite continued expansion of cross-strait direct flights. Making use of the spare capacity of the Hong Kong-Taiwan flights, the HKTB collaborated with the travel trade to roll out competitively priced vacation packages and open up new visitor sources in cities other than Taipei. As a result, vacation arrivals from the island went up by 29.0% to 590,000, causing overall Taiwanese arrivals to increase.

For North Asia, the strong appreciation of the Japanese YEN and the Korean WON during the year brought forth a 21.1%-rise in arrivals from the region. The performance of South Korea was especially outstanding, with double-digit growth recorded for every single month of 2010. For the full year, arrivals from the country soared by 44.0% to 890,000. In Japan, the travel trade launched a range of multi-destination travel itineraries featuring Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta. Together with myriads of mega events and activities in Hong Kong, these attracted increased visits by Japanese travellers, causing arrivals to grow by 9.3% to 1.31 million.

In South and Southeast Asia, the emerging market of India proved to be the best performer, with arrivals up by 44.8% to 530,000. The robust growth was mainly due to increased Hong Kong-India flight capacity, and the joint effort between the HKTB and the local travel trade to cultivate interest in visiting Hong Kong among Indian consumers. Other markets in the region, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, all recorded double-digit growth compared to 2009.

Russia, another key emerging market for the HKTB, saw its 2010 arrivals double that of 2009. The rapid development of the country’s economy and the rise of the middle class have both bolstered outbound tourism, whereas increased direct flights and visa-free arrangements between Hong Kong and Russia also contributed to the phenomenal growth rate. Meanwhile, the Middle East enjoyed a 20.7%-increase in its arrivals, which exceeded 210,000 in 2010. Catering to the travel patterns of consumers in the region, the HKTB joined hands with the travel trade to promote multi-destination itineraries featuring Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, raising interest in visiting Hong Kong.

The long-haul regions showed steadfast growth in 2010, with arrivals up by 10.5% to 4.69 million, surpassing the level in 2008 before the financial crisis broke out. As a result of the economic recovery, business arrivals returned, while vacation arrivals also increased, leading to the overall upward trend of long-haul arrivals.

Overnight Visitors
Total overnight arrivals in 2010 amounted to over 20 million, or 55.7% of all arrivals to Hong Kong, 18.7% higher than the number in 2009. All market regions, especially South and Southeast Asia (+21.8%) and Mainland China (+20.8%), showed prominent growth in their overnight arrivals.

Source = Hong Kong Tourism Board
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