Customer arrivals to Hong Kong exceeded 2 million in March for the primary time since January 2020, provisional figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) have proven. It marked the primary full month with none main Covid-related journey restrictions in place because the metropolis’s borders closed in March 2020.

Nonetheless, a 40 per cent scarcity of employees within the aviation trade threatens the restoration of the tourism trade, sector representatives warned.

Mainland Chinese language vacationers in Hong Kong on March 29, 2023. Picture: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Hong Kong recorded 2.45 million provisional customer arrivals in March, 68 per cent greater than the earlier month. Nonetheless, the quantity continues to be nearly 42 per cent under that of March 2019, in response to HKTB knowledge.

Inbound customer figures for the primary quarter additionally remained considerably under pre-pandemic norms. Between January and March, town noticed 4.41 million customer arrivals, simply 30 per cent of the quarterly common from 2017 to 2019. Traditionally, the cooler months surrounding the Lunar New Yr are Hong Kong’s peak season for tourism.

Arrivals from mainland China accounted for simply over 80 per cent of whole customer figures for March. Vacationers from long-haul markets – usually those that keep for longer than common and who are usually greater spenders – made up about 5 per cent of March customer arrivals, regardless of a lift from worldwide cruise arrivals.

Made with Flourish

Tour operators targeted on long-haul markets not too long ago informed HKFP that it might take greater than free flights to lure such vacationers again to town after protests and the pandemic. In February, the federal government launched a multibillion greenback marketing campaign, “Hi there Hong Kong,” to attempt to re-establish town as a tourism vacation spot, a part of which concerned making a gift of 500,000 return flights.

Final Thursday, aviation trade representatives warned that Hong Kong would lose its standing as a global air hub if it failed to draw extra staff to the trade, RTHK reported.

The manpower scarcity could be a significant impediment for Hong Kong’s post-pandemic restoration, head of the Airline Operators’ Committee, Walter Li, mentioned.

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