Focus on family

THE Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) revealed that this September’s visitor arrivals reached 2,194,840, up 3.5 per cent on September 2007.

This brings cumulative arrivals for the first nine months of 2008 to 21,768,811, 6.9 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
September’s growth was mainly driven by the short haul regions, as positive increases were registered for mainland China and southeast Asia. The long haul market regions sustained their downward trend.
Visitor arrivals from Europe, Africa and the Middle East stood at 139,730, a minus 16.4 per cent.
Hotel occupancy across all categories of hotels in September 2008 was 79 per cent two per cent lower than in September 2007. 
The HKTB has identified the Middle East as an emerging market due to its strong potential evidenced by the average of 26 per cent increase of tourist arrivals to Hong Kong from 2005 through 2007, according to Simon Mills, the HKTB’s director of Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa. 
“Our strategy in this region will initially focus on family and luxury leisure segments. We shall also actively work with the region’s trade partners to create tactical packages to continuously fuel the growth momentum of the Middle East markets.”