The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has seen a rebound in tourist visits from the Chinese mainland, which has contributed to the recovery of the local tourism industry.
During the weeklong Chinese lunar new year holidays, more than 1.06 million tourists from the mainland visited Hong Kong, up 14.5 percent year-on-year, local news site wenweipo.com reported on Thursday, citing data from the local immigration department.
Hong Kong has a strong new year atmosphere, which is attractive to mainland tourists, Anthony Lau, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, was quoted as saying in the report.
The market expects to see more mainland tourists, and the rebound during the Chinese new year holidays will further boost local tourism, he noted.
A large number of tourists from the mainland have been lining up in some of the most congested shopping districts such as Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, and the total revenue from new year markets is expected to have increased by 5 percent year-on-year in 2018, thanks partly to the rise of middle-class consumers in the mainland.
Also, the Macao Special Administrative Region recorded a year-on-year increase of 16.8 percent in the number of tourists from the mainland during the holidays.
In recent years, the local tourism industry in Hong Kong has suffered from a decline in the number of tourists from the mainland. The number of visitors fell by 4.5 percent year-on-year in 2016 and 2.5 percent in 2015, the South Morning China Post reported in November 2017. The two-year slump has weighed on local GDP growth, as tourism is a pillar industry in Hong Kong.