Published on Monday, January 6, 2020

Hong Kong expects 2019 tourist arrivals to decline 14 percent

The Hong Kong Tourism Board expects to post a 14% drop in 2019 full-year arrivals.

HKTB executive director Dane Cheng said full-year numbers will likely be 56 million after a sharp decline was recorded in November.

Hong Kong last saw a tourism decline in 2016.

November saw arrivals plunge by 56% to just 2.65 million.

It represents a 39% drop in visitors in the second half of the year since anti-government protests rocked the city.

It had posted a 14% increase in the first six months, Cheng said.

With no end in sight to the protests, it could get worse, said Ricky Tse Kam-ting, founding president of the Hong Kong Inbound Tour Operators' Association.

"I have been in the industry for 40 years, and the situation now is the worst. It's like a long war with no end in sight," Tse said.

Despite its troubles Hong Kong came out top as the most visited destination in Euromonitor International's Top 100 City Destinations 2019 index, ahead of Bangkok and London.

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