A short-term economic slump would hit tourism-related industries as fewer American tourists visited the territory following the terror attacks, the Hong Kong Tourism Board warned yesterday. Chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said the organisation might have to adjust its promotion strategy in view of the incidents. American tourists are the biggest-spending visitors in the SAR. Mrs Chow, who visited the US promoting Hong Kong last week, was stranded in Anchorage, Alaska, for two days when the flight she was on was diverted after the attacks. 'It is very difficult to predict how big the impact will be but certainly there will be some impact,' said Mrs Chow at the Legislative Council by-election at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. 'For one, there will be some cancellation of tours and business visits to Hong Kong from the US because air transport has not resumed completely and that leads to a lot of inconvenience. The United States is still in a state of national mourning and hence many people will not be ready emotionally to go on overseas tours.' In the first seven months of the year, 576,190 visits to Hong Kong were made by US nationals, up 6.1 per cent on the same period last year. Americans and Canadians spent a total of $3.73 billion during their visits to the SAR in the first half of the year. Each of them contributes $5,684 on average to the SAR economy, the highest among overseas tourists. Executive Council member Henry Tang Ying-yen said the economy in general would be affected as the US was the biggest market for local exporters. He also feared the Hong Kong stock market would fall after trading resumed in New York today. 'Many investors take the view that since there are lots of uncertainties, they would prefer to hold more cash but many fund managers will know that they don't have to achieve this goal through panic selling,' he said.