New tourism survey ranks Hong Kong seventh in Asia, drawing in 8.3m offshore overnight visitors last year

International visitors spending at least one night in the city contributed HK$52.1 billion to the economy last year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 February, 2016, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 February, 2016, 4:59pm

Hong Kong was Asia’s seventh most popular destination for international overseas arrivals in recent years, but lagged behind Singapore, Bangkok and Taipei in winning tourist dollars, according to a new report.

Mastercard released their first annual Asia Pacific Destinations Index report on Tuesday, revealing Hong Kong remained Greater China’s most popular tourist destination.

In total, 8.3 million international overnight visitors passed through Hong Kong in 2015, spending 27.8 million nights in the city and pouring HK$52.18 billion into the economy. These figures don’t mainland tourist visits to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong beat Shanghai and Beijing on every indicator, doubling the Chinese capital’s four million tourist arrivals between 2014 and 2015.

But it wasn’t all good news - the city was far behind Sydney and Tokyo in terms of numbers of nights spent in town, while Singapore doubled Hong Kong’s total with tourists spending more than 55 million nights in the Lion City.

The new report was released just after Hong Kong Disneyland announced their first annual loss since 2011, losing HK$148 million in 2015 after three years of hundreds of millions in profits.

Total visitors numbers to the park fell 9.3 per cent to 6.8 million year-on-year, as the park’s managing director said they expected another hard year in 2016.

Hong Kong ranked ninth in terms of tourist expenditure in town, behind Taipei and Phuket, raking in a third of leading competitor Bangkok’s US$15.2 billion in tourism dollars.

“As the tourism industry in Asia Pacific has been growing robustly in recent years, governments, businesses and tourism authorities should work hand in hand to maintain destination competitiveness,” Mastercard Hong Kong and Macau head Anna Yip said.