he number of Thai visitors to Hong Kong fell in July, amid protracted demonstrations in the Chinese autonomous territory.
The Hong Kong Immigration Department recorded 31,211 arrivals of Thai nationals who spent at least one night in the city in July. This represents a decrease of 6.6% compared to the same period last year. However, the number of one-day visitors increased by 11% to 10,337 in the same month.
Overall, the total number of Thai tourists in July decreased slightly, by 2.7%, to 41,548, compared to 42,710 a year earlier.
The Association of Thai Travel Agents has predicted that packages for trips to Hong Kong could fall by more than 30% this year. In addition to the wave of protests in the Special Administrative Region, the economic slowdown in Thailand should also be considered.
The city has welcomed a total of 40 million international tourists in the first seven months of the year, up 11% year-on-year. However, traveller arrivals fell 4.8% in July year-on-year to 5.196 million, the first decline since January 2018.
Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan also claimed that visitor arrivals in August were down by nearly 40% compared to the previous year. Anti-government demonstrations, sometimes violent, have had increasingly serious consequences for the tourism, hotel and trade sectors.
Some properties have seen their occupancy rate cut in half, while room rates have dropped by 40 to 70 per cent, he added.
« The most worrying thing is that it does not seem that the road ahead is easily going to turn any better, » Chan said.