Hong Kong saw the number of inbound tourists slip in June, mainly because of fewer visitors from the mainland, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing government data.
A total of about 4.2 million foreign tourists arrived in Hong Kong in June, down 1.9 percent year on year. Increases had been recorded in the previous three months, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said on Monday.
Arrivals from the mainland were more than 3.09 million, a 3.4 percent decrease from a year earlier. Other foreign arrivals went up 2.4 percent.
Short-haul markets saw arrivals grow 3.6 percent year on year to 718,000 in June. The number of Indonesian and Japanese visitors rose 31.3 and 16.8 percent, respectively, while arrivals from Taiwan and Singapore were down down 7.1 and 0.7 percent, respectively.
In the same month, the number of arrivals from long-haul markets was more than 318,000, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier.
For the first six months this year, tourist arrivals were about 27.81 million, up 2.4 percent year on year. There were 2.3 percent more mainland tourists, and 2.5 percent more non-mainland tourists.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Tourism Board said the drop in total in June was mainly due to the fact that there were fewer mainland tourists who did not stay overnight, news website hk01.com reported.
Data shows the number of those tourists in June was down 11.5 percent month on month and down 6.1 percent year on year.
Meanwhile, the tourism industry sees bright prospects for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and expects it to bring in more mainland visitors.
Chui Ting-pong, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, said the high-speed rail presents huge business opportunities for the local tourism industry, adding that the number of potential tourists from Hunan province alone could be in the tens of millions.
A senior staff of travel agency Diamond (Asia) Group said he expects the high-speed rail alone to take more than 100 mainland tours of 3,000 people each to Hong Kong each day compared with 300 mainland groups daily on average this summer.
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