More than 440,000 mainlanders visited Hong Kong during the Labor Day holiday, up 13.8 percent from the previous year.
Group tours rose 30 percent during the three-day weekend, beating expectations of a 10 percent fall by an industry council with the start of travel curbs on residents of nearby Shenzhen, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
Michael Wu, chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, said an average of 320 mainland travel groups registered with the council in those three days, encouraged by hotel discounts.
However, overnight stays fell 10 percent against a 30 percent year-on-year increase in transit visitors, said Ricky Tse, president of the Hong Kong Inbound Tour Operators Association.
Tse said transit visitors are treated as inbound traffic when they hit Hong Kong on their way to Phuket, Bali, Japan, South Korea and other destinations within a few hours away.
Meanwhile, the domestic MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) business slowed in the traditional peak season beginning in February, with fewer service providers hiring additional staff, said Paul Leung, chairman of Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association Ltd.
He said most MICE companies are not hiring new staff or replacing people who have left.
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