A Hong Kong travel industry group fears that the city could witness a much steeper decline in mainland visitor arrivals during the upcoming Labor Day weekend than had been initially expected.
The Hong Kong Travel Agent Owners Association believes the drop in mainland visitor traffic during the three-day holiday starting from May 1 could amount to as much as 50 percent compared to the same period last year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
Many mainland tourists are considering other destinations amid concerns over the anti-parallel traders movement and other protests in Hong Kong, the report said, citing the association’s vice chairman Simon Yuen.
The weak prospects prompted some local hotels to cut their room rates by about 40 percent, Yuen was quoted as saying.
About 20 to 30 percent of mainlanders who are planning on a holiday during the long weekend may turn to destinations such as South Korea and Japan, he said.
The room rates of certain hotels have been lowered to HK$600 from HK$1,000 in a bid to boost the occupancy rate, said Yuen who owns a company that specializes in serving mainland tourists.
Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong executive director Joseph Tung had earlier projected a 10-percent drop in inbound tour groups from mainland China.
Luxury retailers such as Prince Jewellery & Watch and Richemont Group are said to be lowering their product prices by about 5 percent to lure mainland shoppers.
Meanwhile, cosmetics chain Sa Sa International Holdings (00178.HK), which derives over 50 percent of its sales from mainlanders, is trying to attract more Hong Kong customers to offset the decline in mainland visitors.
The company is distributing cash coupons to boost local sales.
Translation by Vey Wong
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