Tourism in Hong Kong

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Peak Tram can reach Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island
Victoria Harbour at night from Victoria Peak
Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum on Hong Kong Island
Star Ferry Pier, Central on Hong Kong Island
The Clock Tower at Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

The tourism industry has been an important part of the economy of Hong Kong since it shifted to a service sector model in the late 1980s and early 90s. There has been a sharp increase of domestic tourists from Mainland China following the introduction of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) in 2003.


The total tourism expenditure associated with inbound tourism reached HK$7,333 per capita in 2011. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Overall visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in 2010 totalled just over 36 million, a 21.8% increase over the previous year. The numbers included approximately 22.5 million mainland Chinese arrivals, 8.2 million short-haul (excluding Mainland) arrivals, and 4.8 million long-haul arrivals.[1] In July 2011 more than 3.8 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong, equivalent to more than half of Hong Kong's population and setting an outright record for a single month.[2]

Along with the strong growth in the number of Mainland visitors, most other long and short-haul markets are also performing healthily with double-digit growth over 2006. Among long-haul markets, Europe, Africa and the Middle East took the lead with arrivals of 1,916,861, an 11.1% increase that made this Hong Kong's best-performing market region in 2006.

While facing increasing competition from Mainland cities and Macau, the Hong Kong Tourism Board works closely with authorities and trade to make Hong Kong an essential component in all combo and multi-destination itineraries.

Tourism, along with international trade and financial services are the three main sources of income for Hong Kong. According to Hong Kong's finance secretary, since the protests of 2019, tourism has plunged by 40% compared to 2018.[3]

Accommodation and length of stay[edit]

In December 2006, there were 612 hotels and tourist guest houses in Hong Kong, with 52,512 rooms. The average occupancy rate across all categories of hotels and tourist guesthouses was 87% for the whole of 2006, a one-percentage-point growth compared with 2005 despite the 7.4% increase in Hong Kong's room supply between December 2005 and December 2006. During 2006, 62.7% of all visitors stayed one night or longer, which is a trend reflecting Hong Kong's increasing importance as a regional transport hub.

Tourism Commission[edit]

The Tourism Commission was established in May 1999 to promote Hong Kong as Asia's premier international city for all visitors. A Tourism Strategy Group, comprising representatives from the Government, the HKTB and various sectors of the tourism industry has been established to advise the Government on tourism development from a strategic perspective.

Top 15 most visiting nationalities[edit]

Most visitors arriving to Hong Kong were from the following country or territory of residence:[4][5][6][7]

Country/Territory Total
7/2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
China Mainland China 31,734,205 51,038,230 44,445,259 42,778,145 45,842,360 47,247,675
 Taiwan 1,076,548 1,925,234 2,010,755 2,011,428 2,015,797 2,031,883
 South Korea 815,310 1,421,411 1,487,670 1,392,367 1,243,293 1,251,047
 Japan 764,413 1,287,773 1,230,010 1,092,329 1,049,272 1,078,766
 United States 752,659 1,304,232 1,215,629 1,211,539 1,181,024 1,130,566
 Philippines 576,341 894,821 894,489 791,171 704,082 634,744
 Thailand 363,866 571,606 560,207 594,615 529,410 485,121
 Australia 336,767 580,167 567,881 575,812 574,270 603,841
 United Kingdom 332,306 572,739 555,353 551,930 529,505 520,855
 Singapore 333,922 610,508 627,612 674,006 675,411 737,911
 Malaysia 268,843 510,601 516,701 535,542 544,688 589,886
 Indonesia 267,712 427,007 482,022 464,406 413,568 492,004
 Canada 209,501 377,992 370,335 369,363 358,448 354,408
 India 234,368 386,681 392,853 480,906 531,770 516,084
 Germany 136,210 226,819 225,183 226,594 213,802 218,530
 France 108,507 201,850 204,130 213,641 209,825 217,065
 Russia 85,222 161,916 148,098 142,664 151,469 202,141
 Netherlands 51,955 93,863 // // // //
 Vietnam 34,948 56,807 // // // //
Total 40,068,825 65,147,555 58,472,157 56,654,903 59,307,596 60,838,836

Attractions and facilities[edit]

The following locations are areas generally marked as main attractions.

Hong Kong Island[edit]


Including New Kowloon

New Territories[edit]

Including the Outlying Islands

Tourism events[edit]

Hong Kong has a number a events throughout the year that are aimed at attracting visitors. The authority claims that Hong Kong is an Events Capital of Asia.

International Chinese New Year Night Parade[edit]

First organised in 1996, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade is one of the most important celebratory events during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. Originally it was held during day time on Hong Kong Island, and from 2004 onward the event has been held during night time in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Apart from the decorated floats, the parade also features local and international performance groups.[8]

The 2018 parade attracted over 150,000 spectators, half of them were visitors.[9]

Accessing Hong Kong[edit]

To facilitate entry of visitors, various measures were introduced in 2002. The quota of the Hong Kong Tour Group Scheme of Mainland visitors has been abolished since January 2002. The number of Mainland travel agents authorized to organize such tours has also increased significantly. Nationals from some 170 countries can visit Hong Kong visa free for period from seven days to 180 days. The Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) was introduced on 28 July 2003. The Scheme has been gradually extended and now covers Guangdong province, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Tianjin and nine cities in Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. In 2006, over 6.6 million Mainland citizens traveled to Hong Kong under the IVS, which is 20.2% more than 2005.


The HKTB continues to promote the destination to business and leisure travellers through its worldwide "Hong Kong – Live it, Love it!" campaign. Leveraging on the opening of several new attractions from 2005 onwards, the HKTB has designated 2006 as "Discover Hong Kong Year". The global marketing campaign makes use of a series of strategic promotions to showcase the new image of Hong Kong and promote it as a "must-visit" destination in 2006. The HKTB began its travel trade promotion in May 2005 and rolled out the consumer promotions worldwide in late 2005. Aloagreement, a series of joint overseas marketing initiatives is being conducted with Macau and the nine provincial tourism bureaus concerned.


Birth tourism in Hong Kong[edit]

In the years up to till 2012, birth tourism in Hong Kong had been increasing.[10] Pregnant mainland women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong, specifically to benefit from the right of abode.[11] Their parents came from mainland to give birth in Hong Kong, which resulted in their children gaining the right to abode and enjoy social welfare in the city. Hong Kong citizens expressed concerns that the pregnant women and babies put heavier burden on Hong Kong's medical system.[12] Some of them even called mainland people "locusts" which take away Hong Kong's resources from locals.[13] Over 170,000 new births where both parents were mainland people between 2001 and 2011,[14] of which 32,653 were born in 2010.[12] CY Leung's first public announcement on policy as Chief Executive-elect was to impose a 'zero' quota on mainland mothers giving birth in Hong Kong. Leung further underlined that those who did may not be able to secure the right of abode for their offspring in Hong Kong.[11]

Parallel trading in Hong Kong[edit]

Since 2012, there have been more mainland parallel traders coming to the northern parts of Hong Kong to import goods and export them back to mainland, which earns them some money for each transfer. Some products that are popular among these traders, such as infant formula, faced shortage in Hong Kong for an extended time as a result.[15] This made the government impose restrictions on the amount of milk powder exports from Hong Kong.[16] Besides, since northern places like Sheung Shui became the transaction centres of the traders, this resulted in discontent from nearby residents.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Release of Provisional Visitor Arrivals for 2010, Hong Kong Tourism Board, 7 January 2011
  2. ^ Visitor Arrivals in July Exceed 3.8 Million to Break Single-Month Record, Hong Kong Tourism Board, 26 August 2011
  3. ^ "Hong Kong August visitors plunge 40% year-on-year, hotels..." Reuters. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Visitor Arrival Statistics, 2015–2016" (PDF). Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  5. ^ "2016 年 12 月訪港旅客統計 Monthly Report - Visitor Arrivals Statistics : Dec 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Visitor Arrivals | Hong Kong Tourism Board". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Hong Kong Chinese New Year".
  9. ^ "15萬人觀賞花車巡遊表演 狗年行好運". Apple Daily 蘋果日報. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  10. ^ "The Fertility Trend in Hong Kong, 1981 to 2012". "Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department". December 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014
  11. ^ a b Luk, Eddie (17 April 2012). "Door shuts on moms" Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Standard.
  12. ^ a b "LCQ4: Obstetric services". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  13. ^ "800人捐款 五日籌十萬高登下周登報促截「雙非」". Apple Daily. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2014
  14. ^ (in Chinese)自由黨倡停發雙非嬰居港權 Archived 18 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Jennifer, Ngo "Milk powder supplies still not meeting needs". South China Morning Post. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014
  16. ^ "Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department - Import and Export (General)(Amendment) Regulation 2013 ( with effect from 1 March 2013 ) - Quantity of Powdered Formula for Persons Departing from Hong Kong". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  17. ^ "近百名人到上水示威不滿內地水貨客". 15 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2014.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]