Hong Kong has seen an increase in the inflow of mainland tourist groups this month despite the Occupy pro-democracy protests that have blockaded parts of the city since late September.
About 380 tourist groups from mainland China arrived in Hong Kong every day on average so far in October, compared with about 200 in the same period last year, the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TICHK) said on Thursday.
Joseph Tung Yao-chung, the Council’s executive director, attributed the sharp increase to a relatively low benchmark last year after a strict tourism law was enforced from Oct.1, 2013 banning the practice of “forced shopping”.
That said, the 380 tourist groups a day is also slightly more than the number seen in 2012, he was quoted as saying in a Sing Tao Daily report.
The democracy protest has not had any clear impact on the tourism industry, Tung said.
However, TICHK noted that local tourism agencies may have to grapple with a notable decline in Hongkongers’ overseas travel sentiment because of the ongoing mass movement.
An executive at a travel agency was quoted as saying that as many students are protesting on the street, their parents have suspended outbound travel plans, especially for the coming Christmas holiday.
Tung said he is concerned about the potential impact if the protest becomes a protracted one.
[Go to Facebook]
– Contact us at [email protected]