The Hong Kong Tourism Board recently announced that visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in January 2011 rose by 21.5% year on year to 3.59 million.
The growth was driven by the increased in arrivals from the mainland market, whereas the arrival figures from the long-haul and short-haul markets were at similar levels compared to the same period in the previous year.
January 2011 saw a remarkable growth in mainland arrivals, up 31.2% to over 2.5 million. Of these, nearly 70% (over 1.73 million) travelled to Hong Kong under the Individual Visit Scheme. This figure represents an increase of 42.0% year on year. Such growth can be attributed to the multiple-entry visa arrangements for Shenzhen residents visiting Hong Kong, as well as the expanded scope for non-Guangdong residents in Shenzhen to apply for individual visit endorsements. The appreciation of the Renminbi against the Hong Kong dollar also helped to draw a large number of mainland visitors to shop in Hong Kong before the Chinese New Year.
For the short-haul markets, South Korea showed the most prominent growth, and arrivals from this market went up by 24.9% to 102,546. In the long-haul markets, steady performance was seen in most markets. The star performer was Canada, with arrivals increasing by 12.4% to 33,603.
In January 2011, the number of overnight visitors and same-day in-represented about 1.78 million and 1.8 million, a year-on-year increase of 7.4% and 39.8% respectively.