July was a record-breaking month for Hong Kong visitor arrivals. The Hong Kong Tourism Board is reporting that arrival numbers reached the highest ever single-month level at 3,136,794, an increase of 31.9 percent year-on-year.
In general, 2010 has been a drastic improvement over 2009 for Hong Kong's tourism numbers. For the first seven months of the year, arrivals reached 19,992,810, which is a 24.4 percent increase.
For July, the number of American visitors reached 150,305, a 10.6 percent increase over 2009. The bulk of travelers (approximately 2 million) arrived from Mainland China, due to the fact that summer is a popular travel season for Mainland visitors.
Bill Flora, the USA director for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, told Travel Agent that the World Expo 2010 has been a major draw for tourists. "Particularly Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia, we benefit from multi-destination itineraries. The appeal of the Shanghai Expo is that travelers can make a multi-destination trip out of it, either stopping in Hong Kong before or after," he says.
Hong Kong's Summer Spectacular is another major draw for tourists. The event is a mesh of cultural and musical events that tends to draw large numbers of visitors, especially from the Mainland.
Visitors to Hong Kong won't want to miss the Wine & Dine Festival, held October 28-31, which, we were told, has been extended to four days, up from last year's three, due to its success. Guests can look forward to a space double the size of last year's and a brand new tasting pavilion, featuring Victoria Harbor as a backdrop.
Flora remains optimistic about the rest of 2010. "I think that our numbers will remain pretty high," he tells Travel Agent. "We are right now tracking an 11 percent increase, versus a year ago and that has been pretty stable. I would expect visitation to stay at a 10-15 percent increase, once all is said and done for 2010."