Figures released by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) today (4 May) show that in the first quarter of 2012, visitor arrivals to Hong Kong exceeded 11.
22 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.6%. Of these, about half or 5.56 million were overnight arrivals, 8.6% more than the same period in 2011.
Commenting on the steadily growing number of arrivals, HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said: âNotwithstanding the volatile global economic environment, we recorded across-the-board increase in Mainland, short-haul and long-haul arrivals during the first quarter of this year. The number of overnight arrivals also went up by 8.6%, with 10%-increase for Mainland China and even 20%-increase for South Korea and the Philippines, the majority of whom belonged to overnight vacation arrivals, fully underlying Hong Kong's appeal as a leading leisure destination in Asia.
âLooking ahead, we expect the growth momentum to sustain into the second quarter of the year. The HKTB is already gearing up for an exciting series of programmes this summer to draw even more visitors to Hong Kong.â
The table below summarises visitor arrivals from different market regions in the first three months and in March 2012:
January to March March
Market Region 2012 Vs. 2011 2012 Vs. 2011
Mainland China 7,895,453 +21.1% 2,497,061 +24.3%
Short-haul Markets (excl. Mainland China) * 2,151,307 +4.5% 758,674 +4.2%
North Asia 648,316 +10.6% 210,918 +16.9%
South & Southeast Asia 816,022 +5.1% 329,028 +1.2%
Taiwan 495,707 -2.3% 154,942 -2.5%
Long-haul Markets 1,175,968 +4.2% 453,749 +0.9%
The Americas 426,662 +1.6% 167,827 -1.7%
Europe, Africa & the Middle East 563,130 +6.6% 219,777 +2.8%
Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific 186,176 +3.3% 66,145 +1.1%
Total* 11,222,728 +15.6% 3,709,484 +16.4%
*Total figure includes arrivals from Macau SAR
In the first quarter of 2012, visitor arrivals from Mainland China climbed up by 21.1% to 7,895,453. Of these, overnight arrivals accounted for 44% or 3.46 million, 10.4% more than the corresponding period last year.
Besides Mainland China, the best-performing market region is North Asia, the cumulative arrivals of which rose by 10.6% to nearly 650,000. For South Korea, overall arrivals rose by 17.2% to exceed 300,000, as a result of the country's stable economy and the strong Korean WON against the Hong Kong dollar. In particular, overnight arrivals leaped by 20.9% to nearly 210,000, with over 85% of these being vacationers. Meanwhile, overall arrivals from Japan went up by 5.3% to 340,000, bringing the market's performance back to the pre-311 earthquake level.
For Southeast Asia, expanded flight capacity between Hong Kong and the market region brought overall arrivals up by 6.6% to 711,004. Overnight arrivals, 70% of which were vacation arrivals, went up by 5.6% to about 530,000. Among the individual markets, the Philippines achieved the best performance, with its total arrivals and overnight arrivals up by 17.9% and by more than 20% respectively.
As for Taiwan, due to the presidential election in January, which made Taiwanese consumers less inclined to travel, overall arrivals decreased by 2.3% to 495,707, whereas overnight arrivals also fell slightly by 1.1%.
In the long-haul markets, overall arrivals from Europe gained by 9.4% to 483,363, despite the impact of the sovereign debt crisis. Overnight arrivals from the region also grew by 9.5%, with the UK recording an even more impressive 12.3%, which could be attributed to the promotion of travel packages featuring the Hong Kong Sevens in March by the travel trade. For the new market of Russia, overall arrivals surged by 72.3% to reach 50,961, making the country the fourth biggest European market of Hong Kong, just after the UK, Germany and France.
Moving to Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, quarterly arrivals from the region went up by 3.3% to 186,176, while overnight arrivals up by about 5%, as led by the Hong Kong Sevens, along with the strong Australian dollar. For the Americas, overall arrivals went up by 1.6% to 426,662, while overnight arrivals grew by 1.5%.
Overnight Visitors and Same-day Visitors
In the first quarter of 2012, overnight visitor arrivals accounted for 49.5% of all arrivals to Hong Kong, representing 5.56 million and an 8.6%-increase over last year. Same-day visitor arrivals also moved up by 23.4% to exceed 5.66 million. All markets, except Taiwan, achieved growth in their overnight arrivals, as shown below:
January to March
Market Region 2012 Vs. 2011
Mainland China 3,457,049 +10.4%
Short-haul Markets (excl. Mainland China) * 1,258,058 +6.3%
North Asia 430,545 +13.0%
South & Southeast Asia 595,256 +4.8%
Taiwan 173,928 -1.1%
Long-haul Markets 844,212 +4.9%
The Americas 295,775 +1.5%
Europe, Africa & the Middle East 405,252 +7.7%
Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific 143,185 +4.7%
Total* 5,559,319 +8.6%
*Total figure includes arrivals from Macau SAR
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.