Chart of the day: Tourist trap
Mainland tourists are a sensitive subject of conversation in Hong Kong. Fresh data suggests they should be an even more important focus, as a slump in their spending is weighing more heavily on the city's economy than first thought. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has crunched the numbers to show that the slowest annual growth in mainland tourist arrivals since February 2011 in June this year translates to a virtual collapse in travel service exports - which is basically shopping by mainlanders. It fell 11.5 per cent in the second quarter from 10.2 per cent growth in the first. Tourist spending accounts for an estimated 38 per cent of the city's retail sales, which makes the effect particularly dramatic.