Reported by Vegas Tang, Ian Mak

According to the latest statistics from PartnerNet, a website developed by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, total Chinese visitors who stayed overnight has been dropped from 14,355,800 to 13,562,600, 5.5% in other words. This is far more than the decrease of the total number of overnight visitors, who dropped from to 19,706,500, 4.8%.  The proportion of mainland visitors to overall attendance also dropped to 40 percent, from 50 percent. Comparing the first nine months of number of visitors came from different region, most regions had recorded a decrease, and the drop of visitors from Mainland is the most significant among the regions.

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Hong Kong has always been a favourable destination for Mainland visitors since the launch of the policy of Multi-Entry Permit on 2003. They used to come to Hong Kong to enjoy their holiday at different spots and purchase a variety of daily life essentials.

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What the most interesting thing is, mainland visitors number going to Ocean Park has plunged 840,000 or 22 per cent, to 2.96 million. It was the second consecutive drop in the number of visitors since 2013. Number of mainland visitors going to Avenue of Stars, the Peak and  Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Including Golden Bauhinia Square) Temple has been decreased from 29% to 28%,  21% to 19% and 15% to 12% respectively when compared year 2012 to 2014.

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In the contrast, the Clock Tower and SOHO district has higher proportion of mainland visitors in 2014 when compared to 2012. Places, like Sai Yeung Choi Street, Temple Street, Clock Tower, Repulse Water Bay, Lantau Island, where people usually find the natural and raw Hong Kong style, has less scale of mainland visitors than visitors from other countries. For example, there were usually 19% to 35% of visitors would went to Sai Yeung Choi Street. But only 11% of Chinese visitors would like to visit it. Another extreme example is 21% of American tourist would visit Stanley Market but only 2% of Chinese visitors have been to Stanley.

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For the activities these visitors do, the statistics shown that nearly seventy per cent of spending from Mainland Overnight visitors were used on shopping. 69.3% of the spending, nearly HKD 50,573,770,000, were used  to Shopping. 11.2% and 10.6% were spent on Hotel Bills and Meals outside hotels respectively. Only 2.5% and 0.2% of the total spending were use on entertainment during their travel.

The items these mainland visitors bought were the topic of heat debate in the society. It is because mainland visitors were different from usual visitors, they did not buy much souvenir or handcraft. Instead, they bought a lot of costume, cosmetic products and medicine. 42% of mainland visitors bought costume. Luckily, this is similar to other visitors, who generally spent 22% to 56% on costume. However, they also spent nearly 40% on cosmetic products, in which American people spent 4% on it only. The medicine is another highlight point. As American visitors, European visitors, Australian visitors only spent 2 to 11% on it. Mainland visitors spent more than a double, 24% of the 2nd high country. On souvenir and handcraft which usual visitors spent most 20% to 30% on, Chinese visitors only spent 4% on it.

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‘It is clearly obvious that the tourism industry of Hong Kong has been declining from last year (2014). The average consumption per person has been showing its trend of decreasing. Number of visitors arriving Hong Kong is decelerating as well. The weaknesses of the industry in the third quarter in 2015 was quite obvious as well.’ Mrs Helen Chan, the Government Economist from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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To analyse the data by length of stay, overnight stay of visitors of the last quarter fell by 6.7 per cent when it compared to last year. However, visitors, who did not overstay, also recorded a decline of 6.1% respectively. The proportion of overnight arrivals to the total visitors arrivals has been fell slightly from 46.6% to 46.4% in the third quarter of this year. While the proportion of non-overnight arrivals has shown a faint rise of 0.2%, from 53.4% to 53.6%. This also affect the business of hotel industry in Hong Kong. The  average hotel room occupancy rate was 90% last year, while it fell to 86% this year. At the same time, the average room rent dropped 13.1% to HKD 1227.