Nearly 20 million tourists hit Hong Kong shores in the first six months of 2011, reflecting a 14.7 per cent year-on-year increase in visitor numbers and the highest half-yearly figure ever recorded, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has announced.
HKTB chairman James Tien said the numbers were strongly encouraging, “with all major source markets achieving steady growth”.
“In particular, arrivals from Mainland China increased by more than 20 per cent to over 12 million as a result of the Individual Visit Scheme policy and the positive economic environment, which have largely boosted consumers’ propensity for spending and outbound travel,” Mr Tien said.
With June arrivals increasing by a healthy 15.9 per cent to just over 3 million, Mr Tien said he expected growth to continue into the second half of the year.
“We have already lined up a series of mega events and promotions to enhance Hong Kong’s appeal and stimulate consumers’ desire to visit the city,” Mr Tien said.
“Meanwhile, we are also closely monitoring the development of the European and American financial markets, which might impact the global economy and tourism.”
Following China as the largest source markets of visitors to Hong Kong were South Korea, whose arrival numbers rose by 18.6 per cent to nearly half a million, and the South East nations of Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, who recorded growth of 26 per cent, 20.9 per cent and 32.1 per cent respectively.
Over the six months to June, long haul markets rose by 3 per cent to 2.31 million, with the Americas leading growth with a figure of 6 per cent.Significantly, arrivals from Russia grew by a whopping 50 per cent during that period, reaching nearly 60,000.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J