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The number of tourists to Hong Kong falls by 40 percent amid ongoing protests



The number of visitors arriving in Hong Kong fell by 40 percent last month as ongoing protests took their toll on incoming tourism.

Finance Secretary Paul Chan Man-po wrote in a blog post that the fall in tourists had accelerated from 5 percent year-on-year in July to 40 percent last month.

The hotel stay had fallen by half, he added.

"It is worrying that so far there are no signs of improvement in the near future," Chan said.

Official visitor data from the Hong Kong Tourist Board (HKTB) showed that 5.2 million tourists arrived in Hong Kong in July, down 4.8 percent annually.

Arrivals from mainland China fell by 5.5 percent from the previous year in July, far surpassing arrivals from elsewhere, which fell by 2.1 percent.

Anecdotally, the number of pre-orders in September and October has also dropped significantly.

A spokesperson for HKTB said: "HKTB will also closely monitor the market situation and maintain high flexibility in response to any emergency or unforeseen changes in the market."

The Tourism Board appears to have stopped its promotion of the city, and has not tweeted since July 23.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific posted its August traffic figures, showing the number of people flying into Hong Kong on the airline dropped 38 percent in August compared to the previous year.

"August was an incredibly challenging month, both for Cathay Pacific and for Hong Kong," said Cathay Pacific Group chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam.

“In total, tourist arrivals to the city were almost half of what they usually are in what is normally a strong summer holiday month, and this has significantly affected the performance of the airlines. Incoming Hong Kong traffic was down 38 percent while outbound was down 12 percent year on year, and we don't expect September to be any less difficult. "


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