Hong Kong Tourism Board estimates 14pc visitors drop in 2019

HONG KONG (Xinhua) – The number of visitors to Hong Kong was estimated to drop about 14 per cent in 2019, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board Dane Cheng said last Saturday.

After a sharper decline last November, the number of visitors to Hong Kong was likely to stand at 56 million for the entire 2019, Cheng said in a TV programme, adding that the last yearly decline was seen in 2016.

Tourism sector in Hong Kong took the major blow of prolonged social unrest in the second half of 2019 as escalated violent incidents seriously disrupted transport and scared off visitors. Hong Kong received 14 per cent more visitors in the first six months last year, setting a new record, but violent incidents, in particular those related to two Hong Kong universities, resulted in a 39 per cent drop in visitors in the July-December period, Cheng said.

Cheng said the impact of falling visitors has yet to fully emerge as other sectors including retail sales, hotels and catering will be influenced one after another.

To attract visitors, the most important thing is to let them feel safe, Cheng said.