The Hong Kong Tourism Board recently announced that provisional number of visitor arrivals in 2010 had reached a total 36.03 million, a 21.8%-increase compared to 2009.
In a recent statement HKTB said that Chinese mainland arrivals rose 27% year on year to 22.47 million, with the mainland remaining the top tourist source market. Short-haul arrivals, excluding those from the Mainland, rose 16.5% year on year to 8.72 million, while long-haul arrivals rose 9.6% year on year to 4.84 million.
HKTB Chairman James Tien attributed the result to the collaborative efforts of the SAR Government, the local travel trade, and the HKTB in rolling out various promotions, including the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, the Wine and Dine Festival and the New Year Countdown Celebrations, as well as the policies implemented by the central government to facilitate individual visits by Mainland residents.
HKTB expects 2011's tourist arrivals to rise 10% from 2010 year to 39.65 million, with Mainland arrivals rising by 12%.
HKTB hopes the central government will extend the Individual Visit Scheme to even more mainland cities — such as the major cities in the three provinces of northeast China, and to the entire population of Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. It also hopes that the measures for individual visits by both Guangdong residents and non-Guangdong residents residing in Shenzhen could be extended to other cities in the province.