Hong Kong Tourist Board reported 3.57 million total visitor arrivals in 2020


HONG KONG and LOS ANGELES, January 15, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The Hong Kong Tourist Board (HKTB) today announced that the provisional total number of visitor arrivals in 2020 is 3.57 million, down 93.6% from to 2019. Arrivals in january 2020 alone accounted for the majority of the annual total. As COVID-19 began to spread around the world in February, Hong Kong limited entry to foreign visitors and introduced strict quarantine measures from mid-March. Most of the people who arrive Hong Kong subsequently visited family members or traveled for other essential reasons, reducing the number of tourists to almost zero.

HKTB President Dr YK Pang said: “The tourism industry has had an extremely difficult year. The Hong Kong Tourist Board has renewed its strategies and approach in response to the immense challenges of the pandemic. As visitors could not come to Hong Kong in person, we took the initiative to focus on improving the atmosphere and ambiance of the city while maintaining its international exposure, to attract visitors again Hong Kong as soon as the COVID-19 situation improves. Looking ahead to 2021, the HKTB is well prepared for the resumption of travel. We will further strengthen our cooperation with the travel industry to jointly develop new products and routes and improve that of Hong Kong quality of service to ensure that we are ready to welcome visitors again with warm hospitality when the pandemic situation is stabilized. ”

Main initiatives of the HKTB in 2020

Promote the local atmosphere
With visitors and Hong Kong people unable to travel, the HKTB has launched a one-of-a-kind promotion to encourage Hong Kong people to be tourists in their own city in order to stimulate domestic consumption, to convey a positive message about Hong Kong to research markets and generate the confidence of visitors who plan to come to the city in the future.

  • A “Holiday @ Home” promotional platform launched in June. The one-stop-shop platform has provided more than 15,000 offers at restaurants and retail outlets and attractions. The campaign was well received by industry and the public, with over 3.7 million visits to the campaign website at the end of the year.
  • A second phase of “Holiday @ Home” was launched at the end of October with a Free Tour program. Members of the public could redeem a quota for a free local tour by spending 800 HK $ in physical outlets or restaurants, generating a chain of consumption and simultaneously stimulating domestic tourism. The program received an overwhelming response with the quota of 10,000 places for visits filled about a week after its launch. By the end of the year, 7,500 people had toured. Due to the evolving pandemic situation, the Free Tour program was suspended in December. The remaining visits, numbering around 100, will take place when the COVID-19 situation improves.
  • After the positive response to the Free Tour program, the HKTB is talking to business partners to explore the possibility of a similar campaign.

To keep that of Hong Kong International exhibition

Competition for visitors to the region is expected to be fiercer than ever in the post-pandemic era. The HKTB has therefore taken a number of steps over the past year to maintain that of Hong Kong an international exhibition to bring visitors back as soon as possible when the epidemic subsides.

Innovative promotions

  • The HKTB launched a #MissYouToo community promotional campaign in April to spread the word that Hong Kong misses its visitors from around the world. The campaign invited representatives from the tourism industry and Hong Kong celebrities to interact with an international audience on social media platforms, using their networks to express a sincere wish to see visitors return to the city. The campaign reached 35 million viewers.
  • A number of source markets responded to the promotion. HKTB offices in the south-east Asia launched a “100 Reasons to Miss Hong Kong” campaign in July, inviting influencers in these markets to describe why they are missing Hong Kong on their social media platforms. The South Korean office also issued a “Hello Hong Kong!” coloring book in September. The book featured illustrations by Hong Kong landmarks and icons by popular illustrators and has been distributed to celebrities and influencers. The celebrities and influencers then colored the artwork and shared their work with their audiences online.
  • The HKTB launched a “360 Hong Kong Moments” campaign in October with the aim of producing some 20 videos on various themes by the end of this year. March 2021. By applying the latest panoramic 360-degree virtual reality technology or other innovative filming techniques, the videos allow audiences anchored by the pandemic to enjoy immersive journeys through that of Hong Kong various travel experiences from their homes.
  • The HKTB worked closely with international broadcast networks while outside media Hong Kong could not visit the city. Television programs shot earlier in Hong Kong aired at various times in 2020, including Expedition Asia on The Discovery Channel, Chasing the Sun on Nat Geo Gens, Maximum Foodie (Hong Kong Episode) on the Asian Food Network, and many more, continuing to bring the city’s rich diversity of travel experiences to a global audience.

Mega events in new formats
The HKTB has hosted mega-events in new formats to comply with social distancing rules, providing a business platform for the industry and promoting the appeal of that of Hong Kong mega-events. The hugely popular Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, for example, adopted a new “Online + Offline” format, while the Hong Kong Winterfest and Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations took place online for the first time.

A video of the New Year’s Eve countdown celebrations in Hong Kong has attracted more than 5 million views on HKTB’s social media platforms. A total of 110 media organizations in Hong Kong, on the mainland and abroad also reported on the event, including the China News Service, Xinhua News Agency, Phoenix TV, CNN and the BBC. Some media broadcast the event live or rebroadcast it.

Communicate and work closely with business partners
The HKTB has maintained cooperation and communication with members of the tourism industry around the world through webinars, forums, business matchmaking platforms and organized virtual tours.

  • Over 100 webinars have been hosted by HKTB since march 2020, and more than 15,000 sales representatives from the continent and overseas participated.
  • A major webinar was held in April to maintain communication with global trading partners and analyze the impact of the pandemic on tourism. 1,500 sales representatives from Hong Kong. In June, the HKTB hosted its first online global forum in June, titled “Beyond COVID-19: The New Standard in Global Tourism,” where internationally renowned industry leaders shared their points of view. The forum attracted over 4,000 registrants, including members of the tourism industry, journalists and academics.
  • The HKTB launched its first online matchmaking platform to connect companies interested in organizing MICE events in Hong Kong with operators, site providers, attractions and hotels. The platform has successfully matched more than 500 Hong Kong and mainland companies, and has held more than 1,300 meetings.
  • From September, HKTB worked with a Japanese travel agency to organize virtual tours of Hong Kong. More than 10 tours were organized and the cooperating agency said the tours were the most popular virtual tours they had organized.
  • In October, the HKTB introduced a set of standardized hygiene protocols for tourism-related sectors to help establish that of Hong Kong reputation as a safe and healthy destination for future travel, sponsoring the full application fee for its business partners. Through mid-January 2021, more than 1,500 points of sale have been certified under this program.

Provisional total visitor arrivals for 2020



(variation from one year to another)

January to December (‘000)

(variation from one year to another)


2,425 (-99.9%)

2,706 (-93.8%)

Outside the continent *

2,442 (-99.7%)

862 (-92.9%)

Short term

1,159 (-99.7%)

360 (-94.3%)

Long haul

861 (-99.7%)

330 (-91.6%)

New markets

331 (-99.2%)

54 (-91.5%)


4,867 (-99.8%)

3,569 (-93.6%)

Note: Due to rounding, the total may differ from the sum of the individual figures.

* Includes long-haul, short-haul and new market figures, as well as Macau SAR. (Full details of December visitor arrivals and individual market arrivals in 2020 will be released on January 29, 2021.)

Hong Kong Tourist Board

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