ASEAN Arrivals to Hong Kong Continue to Decline in November

Hong Kong recorded only a total of 154,000 ASEAN travellers compared to over 315,000 arrivals for the same month of 2018. Hong Kong bad performance also spills over to Macau tourism

(Picture by Hong Kong photographer Hudson Ng aka Photo by GOD)

The endless troubles in Hong Kong continue to affect arrivals’ performance from international countries. Latest figures for November point to a further decline of over 50% in November. Hong Kong recorded only a total of 154,000 ASEAN travellers compared to over 315,000 arrivals for the same month of 2018. Hong Kong bad performance also spills over to Macau tourism

The never-ending violence and demonstrations in Hong Kong continue to affect the former British colony, according to the latest data published by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. In November, the Special Administrative Region recorded only 2.65 million international arrivals, down by 56% compared to the same month in 2018. Last year, the territory was flirting with almost six million international visitors.

ASEAN countries follow the trend although the decline for the six monitored ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) is slightly better than the overall evolution. ASEAN arrivals declined by 50.9% in November, representing 154,915 visitors compared to 315,194 travellers a year earlier.

The sharpest declines affected Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand with a respective drop in arrivals of 67.2%, 65% and 60.8%. The best performing ASEAN country was the Philippines with visitors down by only 28.9%. The relative resilience of the Philippines market is due to the strong presence of a Filipino community in Hong Kong which continues to generate VFR movements.

From January to November, total ASEAN arrivals (calculated only from the six monitored countries) reached a total of 2.41 million compared to 2.687 million for the same period in 2018 which represents a decline of 10.3%. For 2019, the drop is likely to be close to 11%. While the trend for the first months of 2020 points to a further weakening of tourism demand for the territory.

Hong Kong tourism’s troubles are also affecting neighbouring Macau. The former Portuguese colony recorded a decline of 10.9% in November 2019. Among ASEAN countries, Malaysia and Thailand were both down by 28.8% while Singapore arrivals declined by 33.3%. Only Philippines arrivals showed an increase of 9.1% due to the same reason than in Hong Kong: the presence of a strong Filipino working force in the Special Administrative Region with probably a lot of commuting between both territories. The four mentioned ASEAN countries generated a total of 75,145 travellers in November 2019 in Macau.