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TOURISM

Chinese tourists set to ditch Hong Kong for wider world

City's position as top travel spot under threat as mainlanders start looking at trips beyond Asia

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 December, 2013, 3:59am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 December, 2013, 3:39pm

Hong Kong may lose its position as the top choice for outbound mainland tourists within a decade as they seek broader travel experiences, a recent report by Boston Consulting Group suggests.

The city's position as mainlanders' favoured travel destination might be challenged over time as they visit more places beyond Asia and prefer to have more "leisure activities" and "cultural experiences".

Hong Kong was kicked off a list of 15 most popular travel spots in a survey of nearly 1,000 middle-class mainlanders when asked what was their dream holiday destination in five to 10 years.

The Maldives received the most votes from respondents, followed by the United States, France and Australia.

More people would like to … experience exotic cultures during their trips
VINCENT LUI, BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP

"As Chinese tourists are becoming more and more sophisticated, shopping will not be the No1 reason for them to travel. More people would like to enjoy more leisure activities and experience exotic cultures during their trips," said Vincent Lui, a partner at BCG and co-author of the report.

Mainland tourists' choices are quite different from what they have been for the past few years.

According to the study, around four in 10 people picked Hong Kong as their top outbound travel destination over the past three years. Thailand, Macau and South Korea also ranked highly.

Yet the city dropped to number 10 in the list when the respondents are asked about the next destination they would like to visit.

Despite this, "Hong Kong will still remain one of the most popular places to go for mainlanders, especially for those in southern China, as it's just across the border", said Lui.

He added that China's central government is expected to continue to loosen the individual traveller scheme in the future, which will also support the tourism market in Hong Kong in the long run.

The mainland's tourism market is highly lucrative considering robust growth in tourist numbers and their spending.

The report estimates Chinese urban travellers will take 1.7 billion inbound and outbound trips annually by 2030, compared to only 500 million today. They are expected to spend US$1.8 trillion on tourism by then, nearly seven times their current expenditure.

Eight of the 10 most desired destinations for Chinese tourists in the near future would be outside Asia.

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This article is now closed to comments

acny
I really don't mind HK returning back to a "small fishing village on a barren rock" again.
johnyuan
acny,
.
This sentiment for me is pure poetry—From fish I feed myself, from rocks I build my home. And I am satisfied and I am happy.
sudo rm -f cy
Goodbye and good riddance.
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Bingo. With bags of money siphoning out of PRC.
k.j.ho@surrey.ac.uk
The individual travel scheme has been offered for more than a decade now and many of them, particularly those in nearby Shenzhen or Guangdong province have probably visited HK many times. So it is just natural that they want to visit other more exotic places. HK is becoming more like London where those who live in the Southeast England would simply come for the weekend for a day trip to do shopping or dining. That I think is also very beneficial to HK.
johnyuan
Culturally it is pathetic of Hong Kong catering to tourism that offers shopping and nothing else much. Land of shopkeepers as once the British was derided. Turning Hong Kong into shopping malls everywhere we have witnessed the continue difficulty in saying goodbye to a refugee culture – making fortunes by capitalizing on other people’s misfortune. And unfortunately most of the locals become misfortune too to have to live in congestion and to face what is affordable unaffordable.
.
So let us see if the call for more immigrants to come to be shopkeepers to serve mainland shoppers in Hong Kong will still be loudly heard. Self-serving take on an additional meaning.
aplucky1
its a miracle , a true blue spectacle, a miracle comes true!
the funny part is they think we need them here our economy relies on them, hahahaha
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Sasa, Bomjour, Chow Seng Seng....
cardcardso@yahoo.com
We don't need third runway at present. We desperately need ATC aka Air Traffic Controllers. Mind you, many of our flights are not going in out of PRC. Time for diversification and attract more genuine tourists from around the world.

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