Coronavirus: HK tourism hits record low as arrivals drop 99 per cent

16-Apr-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Arrivals in Hong Kong dived nearly 99 per cent to another new low of 82,000 in March, official year-on-year figures revealed on Wednesday, as the coronavirus pandemic forced the city’s tourism industry to a near standstill.

The Tourism Board’s latest statistics showed only 3.49 million visitors came to the city in the first quarter this year, down 80.9 per cent from the same period last year.

“The Hong Kong Tourism Board is working on a series of initiatives to prepare for the recovery of Hong Kong’s tourism industry,” it said in a statement.

Since Covid-19 hit Hong Kong in January, the government has rolled out a series of travel curbs to contain the spread of the disease, closing all but three border checkpoints.

In March, officials further tightened travel restrictions, requiring all people coming to Hong Kong from overseas to go into mandatory quarantine. That included the city’s residents.

The board said before mid-March, the average daily arrivals were between 3,000 and 4,000. But after officials required non-residents entering the city from March 19 onwards to be quarantined, the figure dropped to about 1,000.

From March 25, all non-Hong Kong residents coming from abroad by air have been denied entry to the city. That rule has also applied to those from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan if they had been to any other countries in the past two weeks.

With such a measure in place, the board said the number of arrivals plunged to just 300 per day, while the average daily visitors dropped to below 100 at the beginning of April.

The previous record fall was in February, when the city posted a 96.4 per cent year-on-year slump to 199,000 around the daily average in the first half of last year.


Category: Hong Kong

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