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The Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in October 2010 stood at 3,258,537. The figure represented an increase of 18.0% year-on-year.

The sustained growth momentum in overall arrivals was led by the rise of Mainland arrivals during the National Day Golden Week holidays. In the first 10 months of 2010, total visitor arrivals cumulated to 29,434,487, 23.0% more than the same period last year.

In the first 10 months of 2010, arrivals from Mainland China added up to over 18.53 million, surpassing the 2009 full-year figure. The strong performance reflects the continued growth of outbound travel among Mainland residents, as fuelled by the robust Mainland economy, as well as the popularity of Hong Kong as a travel destination for Mainland visitors. In October alone, Mainland arrivals went up by over 20% compared to last year.

Aside from Mainland China, satisfactory growth was also registered in most other short-haul market regions. Among these, cumulative arrivals from North Asia, including Japan and South Korea, went up by more than 20%, as driven by the bullish South Korean outbound travel market. As a result of the strong appreciation of the WON currency since the beginning of the year, visitor arrivals from the country surged by almost 40% in the first 10 months of 2010. Further growth was seen in October, as the travel trade rolled out special promotional offers to tie in with the Halloween celebrations and the 2010 Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival.

As for South and Southeast Asia, the region experienced nearly 25%-growth during the first 10 months of 2010, with arrivals reaching 2.78 million. In particular, a 47.6%-growth was registered in the emerging market of India, as led by the country’s increased business and family travel. For the first 10 months of this year, arrivals from India totalled 440,000. The performance of Southeast Asian markets was equally encouraging, with arrivals from Indonesia (+32.7%), Malaysia (+32.5%), Thailand (+18.1%) and Singapore (+16.1%) showing persistent growth. These results could be attributed to the positive economic conditions, which have boosted the propensity for travel, as well as the double-digit growth in flights between Hong Kong and the market region.

Besides India, other emerging markets, including Russia and the Middle East, also recorded double-digit increase in visitor arrivals in October.For Russia, owing to visa-free arrangements and the launch of direct flights between Moscow and Hong Kong, arrivals have been growing significantly, soaring by 111.2% in the first 10 months of this year. As for the Middle East, enhanced awareness of Hong Kong among consumers is causing more and more visitors from the region to come to Hong Kong, leading to a steady increase in arrivals, which upped 23.3% in the first 10 months.

For the long-haul market regions, as a result of steadfast growth, the cumulative arrivals already exceeded the figure in the same period of 2008 and recovered to the pre-financial tsunami level. Indeed, the growth was sustained in October among all long-haul markets, suggesting the gradual revival of business travel and increase in vacation visitors under the stabilising global economy.

Overnight Visitors
In October 2010, overnight visitors surpassed 1.73 million. The figure represented 53.2% of all visitors to Hong Kong and was 11.3% more than in October 2009. Overnight visitors from most market regions, especially the Americas (+21.3%) and North Asia (+17.5%), recorded prominent growth.

Overnight visitors in the first 10 months of 2010 cumulated to 16.44 million, or 55.9% of all visitors to Hong Kong, a year-on-year rise of 20.6%.