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Hong Kong Arrivals Were Down 99 Percent in March 2020

Hong Kong Arrivals Were Down 99 Percent in March 2020
Meg Butler
Arrivals into Hong Kong international airport dived nearly 99 percent to 82,000 in March 2020, according to official year-on-year figures released on Wednesday. While many cities have seen a sharp decrease in visitors, Hong Kong has been hit with two travel disruptions. First, the protests rocked the city and now the coronavirus pandemic has further driven visitor numbers down.
In the first quarter of 2020, the Hong Kong tourism board’s statistics showed that there were only 3.49 million visitors to the city in the first quarter of the year, down 80.9% from the same period in 2019. March 2020 marked the ninth consecutive month that arrivals plummeted. Says Travel Industry Council executive director Alice Chan Cheung Lok-yee, “Inbound tourism has suffered since mid-last year. We are waiting for the government to give us some relief measures so that agents can overcome this. There is only one word left: miserable.”
This downturn in Hong Kong arrivals is even more serious than when SARS disrupted life in the city in 2003. Arrivals only dipped down 67.9% to 427,000 arrivals according to the tourism board’s numbers.
March 2020 saw an even steeper decline in numbers, says the tourism board. Before mid-March, average daily arrivals were between 3,000 and 4,000. Then, when officials required non-residents entering Hong Kong from overseas to quarantine on March 19, arrivals dropped down to around 1,000.
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