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Visitor arrivals in Hong Kong return to growth in August
Oct 03, 03 | 11:25 am
TweetVisitor arrivals in Hong Kong returned to positive year-on-year growth in August, four months after the tourism sector was hit by the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Hong Kong Tourism Board said Tuesday.
About 1.65 million arrivals were reported in August, up 9.6% from the 1.5 million a year ago, the tourism promotion body said.
The speed of recovery has surpassed expectations due to the strong support of the trade in providing attractive hotel and travel offers, said the board's executive director Clara Chong.
'The challenge ahead of us is to ensure the revival can be sustained, now that the pent-up demand has been satisfied and most of the irresistible offers have run out,' Chong said.
The tourism board expected the recovery pace will become more gradual in the coming months after rapid pickup since June.
For the first eight months of this year, arrivals to Hong Kong were down 14.4% from the same period last year due to four straight months of declines from April to July, according to the tourism board's figures.
In August alone, with relaxations for mainland Chinese residents to visit Hong Kong on an individual basis, the number of arrivals from China surged to an all-time high 946,122, a 43.4% jump from the previous year.
But most other markets still showed declines, with arrivals from Japan and South Korea down 28.8%, and South and Southeast Asia off 16%.