Substantial in size and high in per capita spending, in 2015, Hong Kong spent US$22.9 billion on international travel and ranked Asia’s 3rd largest / World’s 11th largest source market! In fact, affluent FIT dominates the city’s outbound!
In 2016, Hong Kong citizens made 91.76 million departures, up 3%, of which 11.29 million departed at the airport, up 8%, so on average, a Hong Kong citizen made 12.7 departures! Also, Hong Kong’s travel agents reported their outbound business grew 4% last year including Christmas! A buoyant year!
Latest statistics indicated growth will likely be continued into 2017! Travel agents projected outbound business during Chinese New Year 2017 grow by 3 to 5%, despite prices of regular tour rise 2% and luxury tours up to 35%! A travel portal reported bookings for outbound flights in the same period jumped 20% as compared to last year! Statistics thus indicated FIT grow faster than tour groups!
Providing regular information like frequencies and preferences on Hong Kong outbound travelers, the ITE public visitor survey collected over 4000 replies in 2016. It found 84% prefer traveling in FIT or private group; 44% respondents reported having three to five holidays in past year, another 10% six holidays or more, and only 3% no holiday!
When they buy FIT travel products, 62% of respondents book directly with suppliers like airlines, hotels and even overseas land operators, 38% with travel agents, and 47% with online travel agents (OTA). Online communications in English not a problem as ITE public visitors are highly educated (44% university and 24% post-secondary)!