The number of mainlanders to visit Hong Kong in the first five days of the Lunar New Year holiday this year dropped for the first time in nearly two decades, the Travel Industry Council said, attributing the decline in part to recent protests against mainland visitors.
According to SCMP:
Immigration Department figures showed that 675,155 mainlanders entered Hong Kong during the five days from Wednesday to Sunday, down 0.16 per cent from last year.
By contrast, the 676,297 mainlanders who visited Hong Kong in the same period last year represented a 13.7 per cent jump from 594,302 in 2013.
While Hongkongers have long voiced complaints about mainland residents flooding the city and buying all of their resources, tensions escalated last week when locals staged an angry protest against cross-border shoppers at a Hong Kong mall.
Apparently, their strategy worked. Joseph Tung Yao-chung, who’s headed the Travel Industry Council since 1997, told SCMP that “Some of [the mainland residents] have given up on Hong Kong,” adding that “I fear the situation will worsen.”
CLSA forecasted that more mainland tourists will opt to travel to Japan, France, South Korea and Britain over Hong Kong in upcoming years, due to high costs, limited hotel space and an unwelcoming attitude towards mainlanders.
[Photo Credit: Slices of Light]