Asia Minute: Chinese Tourists Still Like Hong Kong, but Spend Less Time and Money

Oct 4, 2016

Credit Pixabay Commons

This is a big vacation week in China. Saturday marked the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China—and public holidays during the week make it a popular time for travel, both inside the country and overseas. One location keeping close tabs on visitors is Hong Kong. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

More Chinese tourists are visiting Hong Kong in the early part of this season’s Chinese holidays compared to a year ago.  But figures also show they’re not staying as long as in the past---and they’re spending less while they’re in town.  That’s because many are just popping over the border of southern China for day trips.

Tracking mainland travelers is an obsession with Hong Kong’s hospitality industry—and no wonder-- since they make up more than three-quarters of all tourism arrivals to the city.  It’s been a rough year for Hong Kong’s hotels and other businesses catering to tourists.

When overall visitor arrivals increased slightly in July, it was their first gain in more than a year.  Travel patterns are changing for Chinese tourists—in part because it’s easier to get visas and international travel has become more common….taking many Chinese further afield than Hong Kong.  China is already the biggest source of foreign visitors to Japan…and may play the same role with Australia as soon as next year, according to Tourism Research Australia.

As for Hong Kong, there are some positive trends for the long-term travel market.  Visitors from other countries are increasing…with the latest monthly figures showing double-digit gains in arrivals from Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.