Retail carnival is intended to turn Hong Kong's shoppers into border hoppers As Hong Kong businesses work hard to lure mainland tourists, thousands of retailers in Shenzhen are planning a massive sales blitz to draw shoppers to their side of the border. More than 4,500 stores in 90 Shenzhen shopping centres will jointly offer discounts of up to 60 per cent in an 11-day shopping carnival, starting from Christmas Eve and running until January 3. The goal is to pull in two billion yuan in sales revenue. Shenzhen vice-mayor Wang Suiming said: 'It is our biggest promotional campaign to boost our tourism and retail industry.' Ms Wang expected the number of tourist arrivals to exceed 10 million this year. Hua Tao, director-general of the Shenzhen Retail Business Association, said carnival organisers hoped to attract 500,000 Hong Kong shoppers with the event. Although the campaign would pit Shenzhen retailers against their Hong Kong counterparts, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and businesses here believed the impact would be softened by the millions of expected tourist arrivals during the Christmas and Lunar New Year periods. A tourism board spokeswoman said: 'Each destination has its own appeal and we see Hong Kong and Shenzhen as complementary destinations rather than competitors.' The board is aiming at drawing two million visitors to Hong Kong WinterFest, which runs between November 28 and January 4. Paul Law Tim-fuk, a director of Luk Fook Holdings (International), which has 20 stores in Hong Kong, said the Shenzhen carnival could enhance the attractiveness of the Pearl River Delta and benefit Hong Kong. 'We have mainland tourists who come here to shop for jewellery given our quality and designs. And Hong Kong people have been spending in Shenzhen for years, and this time it should not have a serious impact on us,' he said. But Legislator Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, who represents the catering industry, said Hong Kong restaurants would be affected. 'But it is a free market open for fair competition. Hong Kong can also draw mainland tourists as well,' Mr Cheung said. Ms Wang rejected suggestions Shenzhen's carnival would pose a threat to Hong Kong's long standing reputation as a shopping mecca. 'Hong Kong is a shopping destination for international luxury goods and we are still not at that level,' she said. Mr Hua said the increasing number of individual mainland travellers visiting Hong Kong would not adversely affect Shenzhen's retail industry. 'In fact, Shenzhen also benefits from the relaxed travel rules as most of the travellers from inland cities will stop over here. So, they will also shop in Shenzhen,' he said. Carnival organisers planned to hold a similar shopping event twice a year in future, he said.