The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a state-backed Chinese think-tank, has warned that Hong Kong’s tourism industry will face severe challenges due to the fraught political situation in the city and rising competition in the region.
The Occupy Central movement, anti-parallel trader campaigns and cases of violence against mainland tourists are among the negative factors that will weigh on the Hong Kong tourism sector, the Hong Kong Economic Journal cited CASS as saying in a report.
The change of travel rules on Shenzhen residents, under which their trips to Hong Kong are limited to one per week, coupled with depreciation in the Japanese yen and the Korean won as well as more intense regional rivalry, has resulted in slower growth in mainland visitor flow to Hong Kong.
CASS called on the city to take advantage of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiatives, free-trade zones and the China-Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement to strengthen tourism links with the mainland under the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan.
Hong Kong’s tourism industry is expected to face continuing pressure this year, with the number of mainland Chinese visitors likely to stand at 47 million.
In 2015, mainland visitor numbers fell 3 percent from the previous year to 45.84 million.
The city’s overall number of visitors this year is projected at 60 million, little changed from the 59.3 million last year when the numbers fell 2.5 percent.
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