VISITOR arrivals to Hong Kong during the first three quarters of 2012 grew 16.3 per cent year-on-year to reach 35.4 million, based on the latest figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).
Of this number, 25.3 million were mainland Chinese visitors, a year-on-year increase of 24.2 per cent. The Individual Visit Scheme contributed 66.2 per cent or 16.8 million tourists, gaining 26.4 per cent from last year. The number of Shenzhen residents making visits with the multiple-entry visa hiked 58.8 per cent year-on-year to about seven million.
Among shorthaul markets, North Asia chalked up the best performance with 1.8 million arrivals, a year-on-year growth of 6.3 per cent. Over half (one million) of these visitors came from Japan – seven per cent more than last year – while the remaining 800,000-plus arrivals from South Korea represented growth of 5.4 per cent year-on-year.
From South-east Asia, arrivals reached almost 2.3 million, similar to last year’s figure, though the Philippines posted an encouraging 11.4 per cent boost in arrivals.
Overall longhaul overnight arrivals increased 4.2 per cent to more than 1.3 million. The UK contributed some 380,000 visitors (up 5.1 per cent), while arrivals from Russia displayed a marked increase of 48.9 per cent to 130,000.
HKTB expects to sustain the steady growth of arrivals in 4Q2012 to reach its target of 44 million visitors for the year.