Visitor Arrivals to Hong Kong Exceed 13 Million in 2000

Visitor arrivals in Hong Kong hit a new record in 2000, topping 13 million for the first time, said Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, chairman of the Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA), in Hong Kong Thursday.

The provisional total of 13.06 million visitors represents a 15 percent increase on the 1999 figure, and eclipses the previous record of 12.97 million set in 1996.

At a luncheon speech to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Chow said the tourism revenues now contribute about 60 billion HK dollars (US$7.69 billion) annually to Hong Kong's economy.

"In the longer term, plans are well advanced for a number of new attractions that will ensure Hong Kong maintains its position as the single most popular destination in Asia," she said.

"While some sectors, such as retail, have still not reaped the full benefit of the tourism recovery, all signs indicate this year should see continued growth and higher spending," she added.

Chow noted that any sharp increased in prices is not what HKTA wants to see.

"After all, it is the lowest airfare, lower hotel rates, and lower retail prices over the past three years that have restored Hong Kong's competitive edge," she said.

(Xinhua 01/11/2001)

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