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Published on : Friday, November 11, 2016
Amid a more buoyant National Day holiday, Hong Kong tourism is showing signs of recovery, commerce minister Greg So Kam-leung said. The decline in visitor numbers has come down to 2.4 per cent in October from 3 per cent a month earlier.
At the opening of the three-day International Wine and Spirits Fair So said on Thursday (Nov 10), “We will continue to boost the retail and tourism sectors by increasing the competitiveness and attractiveness of the city.”
Overseas visitors, however, continued to grow in October, with the number up 1.4 per cent while the number of mainland Chinese tourists dropped 3.6 per cent in October on a yearly basis, smaller than the 5 per cent fall in September.
Industry insiders said they expected the recovery to continue for the rest of the year, with growth resuming early next year.
The introduction of the individual visit scheme for mainland Chinese tourists in 2003 ushered in Hong Kong’s “golden era”. But the tourist numbers fell 2.5 per cent abruptly last year, the first decline since 2004, with retail sales sliding 3.7 per cent.