Strong Mainland Arrival Growth Reduces HK Tourism Difficulty

Strong growth of visitor arrivals from the Chinese Mainland is continuing to mitigate the severe impact of the US terrorist attacks on other markets, the Hong Kong Tourism Board(HKTB) said.

"The Chinese Mainland people are continuing to travel and we are fortunate that Hong Kong remains the premier destination for them, as well as the gateway for much of their travel elsewhere," said HKTB's Executive Director Clara Chong on issuing the visitor arrivals statistics for October 2001.

HKTB's statistics showed that the number of Mainland visitors grew by 25.5 percent to 397,809 while October arrivals in total were 3.3 percent down compared with the same month in 2000.

All other markets showed a decline in October, led by the Americas market which saw a 24.7 percent decline in October.

However, Chong pointed out that although Hong Kong was certainly suffering from the downturn in travel since September 11,it was performing better than most other markets in the region.

"While the rest of this year is likely to remain very difficult for the industry, the situation is starting to look a little more encouraging," she said. "Growth from the Mainland remains buoyant and there are signs that confidence is now creeping back into the other markets."

"We believe it should still be possible to achieve 3 to 4 percent growth for the full year," the executive director said.

The decrease in total arrivals for October is relatively small,meaning that for the first 10 months of 2001 cumulative arrivals are still showing positive growth of 5.3 percent, according to HKTB.

(People's Daily November 27, 2001)

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