Air traffic figures released yesterday showed that Hong Kong tourism is recovering quickly from the Sars outbreak. As Taiwan reinstated landing visa status for some Hong Kong residents yesterday the Travel Industry Council (TIC) said it was confident business was returning to normal. 'The Hong Kong International Airport is clearly emerging from the woods,' said Airport Authority chief executive David Pang Ding-jung. 'With passenger figures improving, the airlines are filling more of their seats.' Mr Pang said he believed the recovery would continue, with daily outbound and inbound passenger traffic figures for the first week of this month up to about 70 per cent of pre-Sars levels. Although total passenger traffic last month was down 57.2 per cent year on year, it was up 15 per cent from May. About 1,040 weekly flights were resumed - 46 per cent of total cancellations. TIC executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said travel between Hong Kong and Taiwan should rebound very soon with the revival of landing visas. 'Visa convenience is a very important factor when tourists decide where to go for their holidays. Now that people in Hong Kong have regained their landing visa status, I am sure they will return to Taiwan very soon,' he said. Only Hong Kong residents born in the city or those who had visited Taiwan before can obtain landing visas on entry. Taiwan stopped giving the status to Hong Kong passengers in April because of fears of importing more Sars cases.