Daily items top mainland China tourists' Hong Kong shopping list

Unlike big spenders, visitors with limited budget go for medicines, milk powder and snacks

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 4:38am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 5:13am

Medicines and milk powder were at the top of Qiu Lai's shopping list, while red wine took up a lot of the space in Lu Nengche's suitcase after their recent trips to Hong Kong.

Qiu, who runs a frozen food store in Foshan, Guangdong province, travels to Hong Kong two or three times a year.

"I spent about HK$20,000 on medicines as we don't trust mainland products," he said. "Milk powder is a must-buy item as I have a two-year-old girl."

Hong Kong is the only place Qiu has travelled to since making his first visit to the city through the individual visitor scheme in 2011.

I bought three bottles of red wine for HK$3,500 as they are tax-free items
Lu Nengche, car mechanic

"I will not fly to Japan or other places because of the language barrier," he said. "In Hong Kong, I just jump on the MTR and the train will bring me to Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay. I don't worry about getting lost."

Qiu said he bought an expensive watch in Hong Kong years ago. "One is enough for me," he said. "I'm not a big spender as I'm only running a small business."

Lu, a car mechanic from Guangxi province, was on his first trip to Hong Kong and said he was mainly interested in sightseeing and shopping.

During his three-day stay, he went to Disneyland and Ocean Park and spent the last day shopping.

"I bought three bottles of red wine for HK$3,500 as they are tax-free items," he said. "Then shampoo, Japanese snack food and herbal medicines."

Unlike rich mainland tourists, Lu said he did not buy any designer label goods. "I came here for fun," he said. "Luxury items are beyond my budget."

Another mainland tourist said he had come from Beijing with his wife and their three-year-old daughter.

They spent about HK$30,000, mainly on an Apple computer, electronic items and some medicinal products.

"We have a holiday every year," he said. "Last year, we went to Bangkok and we chose Hong Kong again this year."

Figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board showed 9.87 million tourists arrived in the first two month of this year, an increase of 14.1 per cent year on year. Of them, 7.8 million, or nearly 80 per cent, came from the mainland, representing a rise of 17.2 per cent.