2nd October 2023 – (Hong Kong) Timothy Chui Ting-pong, the executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, has emphasised the appeal of the vibrant nightlife and fireworks displays in Hong Kong during the recent “Golden Week” holiday. He estimated that the number of mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong exceeded one million during the holiday period. However, he noted that the tourism industry has yet to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels seen in 2018.
Due to the slow recovery of airline capacity, there has been a significant impact on visitors from the northern regions of mainland China travelling to Hong Kong. Many tourists have opted to spend their holidays within mainland China, resulting in intense competition among different destinations. The tourism industry in Hong Kong still requires time to fully recover. Chui suggested that organising long-term events such as night markets could help sustain visitor interest. Additionally, he proposed that authorities utilise popular mainland Chinese social media platforms like Xiaohongshu to promote Hong Kong and encourage deeper exploration of the city. Collaborative efforts with neighbouring cities like Shenzhen and Macao could also be undertaken to create attractive 7 to 8-day itineraries.
Regarding travel patterns, Chui pointed out that there are more outbound travellers from Hong Kong heading north than inbound travellers from the south. Hong Kong residents have a tendency to travel abroad during long holidays. Cities like Shenzhen, with a greater number of restaurants and a wider variety of cuisine compared to Hong Kong, hold particular appeal for Hong Kong residents. To attract more tourists to Hong Kong, Chui emphasised the need for comprehensive measures in the tourism sector.