Hong Kong welcomes a record 42 million tourists in 2011

Hong Kong - Hong Kong welcomed a record 41.92 million tourists in 2011, 16.4 per cent more than the previous year, the city's tourism board said Friday.

The increase in arrivals was driven by a 23.9-per-cent surge in visitors from mainland China who accounted for more than 28 million of total incoming passengers.

Arrivals from long-haul regions were up by 1.7 per cent to 4.77 million while visitor numbers from South Korea and South-East Asia rose 14.7 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

One of the few countries to see a fall in visitor numbers to Hong Kong was Japan, down 2.4 per cent year-on-year because of the earthquake and tsunami, the tourism board said.

James Tien, the board's chairman, said in a statement: 'Not only did our visitor arrivals reach a historic high of almost 42 million but our tourism receipts would also likely surpass 250 billion Hong Kong dollars (32.2 billion US dollars).'

Tourism arrivals have surged in Hong Kong since border restrictions on mainland Chinese visitors were substantially eased from 2003. 

Posted On : 06 January,2012