The number of visitors to Hong Kong from the mainland grew 16 percent last year from the year before to 47.2 million despite the Occupy protests in the last quarter, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday, citing Hong Kong Tourism Board data.
Mainlanders made up 78 percent of all visitors to Hong Kong. The growth in the total number of visitors was 12 percent.
The number of visitors from Shenzhen with a one-year visa, which allows multiple entries to Hong Kong, grew the most, 22.2 percent, to 14.85 million, the report said.
A research report issued by the Legislative Council in May said as many as 62 percent of mainland visitors held the visa, an increase of 38 percentage points since the central government introduced it in 2009.
About 93 percent of the money spent by mainland visitors who didn’t stay overnight in Hong Kong went on shopping, especially for cosmetics and daily necessities, the Legco report showed.
Yiu Si-wing, a lawmaker for the tourism professions, was quoted as saying some Shenzhen visitors with multiple-entry visas are parallel goods traders.
Another LegCo member, Claudia Mo Man-ching proposed that the government review the scheme or even cancel it.
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