More mainland tourists will choose to flock to Japan, France, South Korea and Britain in upcoming years over Hong Kong, which for the past three years held it down as one of the three most popular tourist destinations for mainlanders, along with Thailand and Macau. A recent report attributed Hong Kong’s “unwelcoming attitude” as one of the main reasons.
“Our forecast implies only a 4 per cent visitor compound annual growth rate to Hong Kong over 2013 to 2020, versus 14 per cent for other destinations,” said Aaron Fischer, regional head of consumer research at CLSA. The company cut last year’s forecast for the number of mainland visitor arrivals to the city in 2020 by 10 per cent, to 52.3 million.
Using a five-point assessment system of hotels, dining, attractions, accessibility and shopping, Japan, France, South Korea and Britain emerged as the four most attractive destinations for mainland visitors.
With a weaker yen, the number of mainlanders going to Japan was expected to multiply by seven, from 1.3 million in 2013 to 8.9 million in 2020. France would see a 500 per cent rise, while South Korea, the US and Italy can expect arrivals to triple.
Hong Kong, which still ranks as the fifth most popular destination, has lost some appeal due to high costs, limited hotel rooms and a less-than-welcoming attitude towards mainland tourists, whom some the more critical Hong Kongers refer to as “locusts”.
You Si-wing, a lawmaker in Hong Kong’s tourism sector, called on the government to shift tourists away from bustling residential areas by building more shopping centers near the border.