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Hong Kong citizens continue spending big

49% will spend more in next 12 months, 27% maintaining and only 5% reduce spending.

HONG KONG, CHINA – With 7.5 million people, Hong Kong named World’s 10th / Asia’s 3rd largest market by total international tourism spending in 2016(*1), but by capita spending ranked top among world’s 10 largest markets. Latest figures show the city continues spending more on traveling abroad.

In 2017, Hong Kong spent US$25.5 billion on international tourism, up 5.8%! The city’s travel agents reported outbound package tour business in the first half this year grew by 14.8%!(*2)

Several popular destinations reported more arrivals last year from Hong Kong. For examples, Japan had 21.3% more or 2.23 million, Thailand up 9.5% to 820,000, and Australia 13.8% more to 282,100.

FIT (free independent traveler) consistently dominate Hong Kong’s outbound, which again comfirmed by survey in last June on public visitors of ITE Hong Kong, the city’s only travel fair. Over 3,000 replies were collected online and onsite, while visitors in two public days totaled 90,055.

ITE’s public visitors are found to be mature (67% aged between 35 and 64); well educated (university 42% & post secondary 32%); female outnumbering male by three to two; overall, 84% prefer traveling in FIT or private tours. Many have multiple holidays in past year – 13% had 6 or more holidays, 44% had 3 to 5, 40% had 1 to 2, and only 2.5% no holiday.

Their outlook positive: 49% will spend more in next 12 months, 27% maintaining and only 5% reduce spending. On destinations to visit within next two years, 54% picked East and North-east Asia, 42% South & South-east Asia, and 39% Europe etc.

They are keen on theme travel too! For examples, Culture & Historical, Gourmet Tour, Cruise, Eco-tourism & Outdoor, Travel Photography and Driving Tour each drew, in the last survey, over 30% positive responses etc.

Tech savvy, 60% prefer book online directly with suppliers like airline and hotel with 19% interest in joining tour at destination, while booking through online travel agent is a lower figure of 50%, and an even lower 40% of booking with traditional travel agent. Coincidentally 63% interest in booking holiday and 55% attending seminar in ITE. So realistic for foreign sellers dealing directly with Hong Kong Affluent FIT.

Combining leisure and MICE travels, ITE Hong Kong 2018 was attended by 666 exhibitors (87% from abroad and China) with some 180 present MICE products; and in two trade days which require registration for admission, 12460 buyers and visitors with 73% from Hong Kong and 21% from mainland China ; while by sectors 6580 from travel agents or operators and 2567 MICE or corporations.

Organized by TKS Exhibition Services Ltd., supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong Tourism Board, ITE Hong Kong 2019 (33rd ITE & 14th ITEMICE), will be held from June 13 to 16 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

*1 UNWTO World Tourism Barometer March 2017
*2 Travel Industry Council Hong Kong Latest Tourism Statistics 11 July 2018

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.