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Hong Kong blues

Short haul markets suffered the biggest drop of 56% year on year in January

pwHKTB180220
Hong Kong average daily arrivals have fallen to below 3,000 this month.

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced last week that Hong Kong received 3.2 million visitor arrivals in January 2020, representing a daily average of 100,000, a 53% drop from 200,000 in the first half of 2019.

The Mainland and short-haul markets were the most affected, recording a drop of over 50%. Average daily arrivals recovered to 130,000 with the pre-Lunar New Year rush in January. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 aggravated the decline, as some airlines have suspended flights to Hong Kong and reduced services, while the Government has implemented a number of measures restricting the flow of people between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

As a result, the number of visitors plunged to 65,000 a day in late January. Early data in February suggests that the arrivals have continued to drop, with average daily arrivals falling to below 3,000, of which 75% were non-Mainland visitors.

The HKTB is providing instant updates on its official website DiscoverHongKong.com about the latest government measures. It has created a dedicated section with travel tips for visitors, including information about the status of attractions. It is maintaining normal operations at its Visitor Service Centres at Hong Kong International Airport and in Tsim Sha Tsui, while the other centres have been temporarily closed to optimise resources.

The daily operating hours of the Hotline Services have been extended for both visitors and trade partners, including hotels and shopping malls, from 9am to 9pm.

"The HKTB will continue to regularly disseminate up-to-date information to the travel trade in both Hong Kong and visitor source markets. It will also closely monitor the latest developments and adjust its work and strategies to ensure a timely response to changes," HKTB said in its statement.