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 tourists from Mainland China, due to 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.

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]

Data from HKTB[3]

Rank Country 2013 Percentage
1  China 17,089,509 66.6%
2  Taiwan 1,945,000 3.1%
3  United States 900,000 3.1%
4  South Korea 745,367 2.9%
5  Japan 607,877 2.4%
6  Philippines 584,727 2.3%
7  Singapore 521,620 2.0%
8  Australia 476,324 1.9%
9  Malaysia 466,578 1.8%
10  Thailand 426,797 1.7%
11  United Kingdom 422,525 1.6%
12  Indonesia 379,744 1.5%
13  India 284,607 1.1%
14  Canada 246,679 1.0%
15  Vietnam 255,000 0.6%

Attractions and facilities[edit]

Almost any of the districts of Hong Kong can be considered a tourist destination. The following locations are areas generally marked as main attractions.

Hong Kong Island[edit]


Including New Kowloon

New Territories[edit]

Including the Outlying Islands

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 authorised to organise 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 travelled 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 has already started promotions to the travel trade in May 2005 and will roll out 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.


Anchor babies in Hong Kong[edit]

In the years up to till 2012, the number of anchor babies in Hong Kong had been increasing.[4] Pregnant mainland women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong, specifically to benefit from the right of abode.[5] 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 anchor babies put heavier burden on Hong Kong's medical system.[6] Some of them even called mainlanders "locusts" which take away Hong Kong's resources from locals.[7] Over 170,000 new births where both parents were mainlanders between 2001 and 2011,[8] of which 32,653 were born in 2010.[6] 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.[5]

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.[9] This made the government impose restrictions on the amount of milk powder exports from Hong Kong.[10] Besides, since northern places like Sheung Shui became the transaction centres of the traders, this resulted in discontent from nearby residents.[11]

See also[edit]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]