Tourist arrivals in HK reach new peak


HONG KONG, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — Tourist arrivals in Hong Kong surpassed the 28 million-mark in 2007, up 10 percent on 2006, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said Monday.

Once finalized, tourist spending for last year is expected to have grown to more than 130 billion HK dollars (16.7 billion U.S. dollars), breaking the 119.43 billion HK dollars record in 2006.

Per capita spending by overnight arrivals is forecast to be about 5,100 HK dollars compared with 4,799 HK dollars in 2006.

As for same-day in-town visitors, their average per capita spending is expected to rise to about 1,100 HK dollars from 1,015 in 2006.

Hong Kong Tourism Board Chairman James Tien said the figures are testament to Hong Kong’s enduring appeal as a destination in the face of ever-growing competition.

“We are especially encouraged that besides the strong performance of Chinese mainland, the growth was spread across different international markets with all three long-haul regions exceeding their 2006 levels and many of our key source markets achieving their best results ever,” he said.

He forecast good prospects for this year, adding the board will continue to achieve a balance of visitors from all key markets in keeping with Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan image.

All market regions grew last year with double-digit rises for the Chinese mainland, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, high-potential markets like the Republic of Korea and the Philippines as well as emerging markets like Russia.