Tourism news roundup: Hong Kong tourist spending to drop despite an expected uptick in arrivals, and other headlines


For PropertyGuru’s news roundup, we focus on tourism. Hong Kong’s Tourism Bureau said tourist spending is expected to drop 16 percent despite a possible uptick of 35 percent in arrivals. In other tourism headlines, Southern Vietnam’s tourism sector has recorded impressive and sustained growth in the first quarter of 2024. And Thailand and the Philippines hope to sign a “two-country, one-destination” initiative within the year.

Tourist spending in Hong Kong expected to drop 16 percent this year despite a possible 35 percent uptick in arrivals – tourism bureau

Hong Kong can expect more tourists this year, but they will be spending less per head, according to the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau in a report in HKFP. Visitors are expected to spend an average of HKD5,800 on overnight stays this year, a 16 percent decrease from last year.

The bureau’s estimated that per capita expenditure by overnight visitors stands at HKD5,800, according to figures released in the 2024 budget on Wednesday, down from last year’s HKD6,939. Overnight visitors spent HKD6,614 in 2018. Those figures are based on the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s departing visitor survey.

Meanwhile, the bureau expects a 35.3 percent increase in visitor arrivals this year, from 34 million to 46 million. In 2018, Hong Kong saw 65.15 million total arrivals.

Southern Vietnam tourism enjoys sustained stable growth

Southern localities’ tourism sector has recorded impressive results, indicating sustained growth in the first quarter of 2024 thanks to efforts to diversify products and take several solutions to address challenges and difficulties facing the industry.

According to VietnamPlus, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism reported that the southern hub welcomed 1.38 million international and 8 million domestic tourists within the period, representing year-on-year increases of 32 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. Total revenue from tourism activities reached VND44.7 trillion (nearly USD1.79 billion), surging by nearly 24 percent compared to the same period last year.

In the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, travel firms have offered many tours to ecological areas, beaches, and islands, which are popular among many tourists. The locality served over 2.7 million holidaymakers in the period, up over 22 percent YoY.

The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, known for tourism products associated with agricultural production experience, craft village, ecotourism, and culture, attracted 1.15 million tourists in the last quarter, earning VND480 billion in revenue.

Philippines and Thailand ‘two-country, one-destination’ tie-up eyed in June

Thailand is hoping to sign within the year a tourism deal with the Philippines that would jumpstart the “two-country, one-destination” initiative, its top diplomat in the Philippines said.

Under the concept, the two governments will ramp up promotions and encourage foreign tourists visiting either of the two states to have the Philippines or Thailand as their second stop.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency on the sidelines of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Ambassadors’ Lecture Series, Thailand Ambassador Tull Traisorat said the document could be signed by June during the Philippine-Thailand tourism ministerial meeting or “even before if there’s a high-level visit”.

“The two-country, one-destination concept is reflected in the implementation part under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on tourism cooperation between Thailand and the Philippines,” he said.

Given the distance between the two neighbors, Traisorat also emphasized the need to work on establishing a direct flight between the two states’ popular destinations. The envoy said stakeholders are currently in talks for a possible direct flight between Cebu and Phuket.

“It’s in the making. I’ve talked with all relevant airlines already, including Thai Airways, PAL (Philippine Airlines), Cebu Pacific, Thai VietJet Air, and AirAsia as well to promote this. It’s a key to promote tourism between our two countries,” he told reporters.

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].