Hong Kong may see a drop of 20 to 30 percent in the number of mainland tour groups to the city during the week-long holiday starting on Oct. 1 national day amid planned protests by the pro-democracy group Occupy Central, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
Only half of the mainland group tours have been reserved so far, Ricky Tse, chairman of the Hong Kong Inbound Tour Association, said, adding that he expects their number to fall 20 to 30 percent from a year earlier.
Easier access to visas for overseas travel and aggressive tourism promotions in Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea have also drawn mainlanders away from Hong Kong, the report said.
The number of mainland tour groups to Hong Kong during the Golden Week may shrink to 300 to 350, compared with around 400 groups in previous years, said Michael Li, executive director the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners.
Hotel occupancy rates may drop to 85 percent from last year’s 89 percent, Li added.
Retail sales growth is also likely to slow, with revenue gain only about 10 to 20 percent more than an average week, said Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd. (00590.HK) chairman and chief executive Wong Wai-sheung.
The average spending of mainland tourists is expected to slide to HK$1,000 (US$129) to HK$3,000, compared with a range of HK$3,000 to HK$15,000 previously, according to Kowloon Watch Co. Ltd. managing director Wong Kam-shing.
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