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LegCo Secretariat releases Research Brief on "Hong Kong's tourism industry"

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council Secretariat (the Secretariat) today (August 5) released a Research Brief on "Hong Kong's tourism industry".

     Tourism, including both inbound and outbound tourism, is one of the four pillar industries in Hong Kong. Inbound tourism accounts for the majority share of the GDP contribution and total employment of the industry.

     During 2010-2013, visitor arrivals to Hong Kong registered an annual average growth of 16.4 per cent. However, the growth decelerated to 12.0 per cent in 2014. The slowdown was more distinct in the first half of 2015 as visitor arrivals rose by a mere 2.8 per cent, the slowest since the third quarter of 2009. Other indicators, such as overnight visitor arrivals, retail sales value, average achieved hotel room rate and average hotel room occupancy rate, fared worse and declined during the period.

     The subdued performance of inbound tourism indeed mirrored largely the slowdown in the growth of Mainland visitors. Reasons such as relaxed visa requirements and favourable exchange rates in other popular tourist destinations might have resulted in tourist diversion from Hong Kong.

     The recent setback in inbound tourism underscores the need for Hong Kong to diversify its tourism source markets and product offerings. There are suggestions that Hong Kong should develop more tourist attractions, introduce effective measures to attract more inbound business visitors, and enable further growth of the cruise tourism.

     Hong Kong has seen very few well-received tourist spots coming on stream since the opening of the Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005. Yet Singapore has opened up new tourist spots one after another almost every year since 2008, while Korea has created new tourist attractions based around well-known Hallyu (Korean Wave) drama/movie locations.

     On business travel, Hong Kong has attracted increased number of overnight business visitors in recent years. However, Hong Kong faces keen competition from other Asian cities which have implemented more proactive measures to develop themselves as the premier destination for meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) events in Asia Pacific. In contrast, Hong Kong has not introduced any specific incentive schemes to promote the growth of the MICE industry.

     On cruise tourism, the recently constructed HK$8.2 billion Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is lagging behind in passenger-friendly land transport to the city centre. This constraint is unlikely to improve in the short term as the proposed Environmentally Friendly Linkage System that includes the design of green public transport modes to connect the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal with nearby MTR stations is still in the planning and assessment stage.

     This is the sixth issue of the Research Brief for 2014-2015 prepared by the Secretariat's Research Office of the Information Services Division with a view to enhancing information support for Members. It is a concise summary aiming at explaining a subject matter which may be of interest to Members and the general public.

     The Research Brief is now available on the Legislative Council Website at

Ends/Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:14


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