Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong have jumped 16.3% in the first three quarters of 2012, led by a tourism surge from mainland China.
According to the latest data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), the city welcomed 35.4 million visitors in the January-September 2012 period, 71.6% (or 25.3m) of which came from China. Of these mainland arrivals, 66.2% (or 16.8m) came on the Individual Visit Scheme, while the number of Shenzhen residents who made their visits with the multiple-entry visas increased 58.8% year-on-year to about seven million.
Arrivals from other regions however, have stuttered in 2012. The number of visitors travelling to Hong Kong from South and Southeast Asia fell 2.6% to 2.6m, while arrivals from Taiwan dropped 4.6% to 1.6m. Arrivals from Japan and Korea climbed 6.3% to 1.8m, but this was largely due to a rebound following last year’s Japanese earthquake.
In terms of long-haul markets, visitor traffic from the Americas dipped 0.3% to 1.3m, while Australia & New Zealand arrivals fell 0.7% to 548,500. Arrivals from Europe, Africa and the Middle East however, climbed 1.9% to 1.6m.
Underlining to impact of short-stay visits from mainland Chinese tourists, the HKTB revealed that fewer than 50% of visitors to the city stayed overnight, while same-day arrivals went up 27.2% to 18m.