Tourism | Surging same-day visitors behind April growth

Visitor arrivals increased 15.9% year-on-year in April 2019 to top 3.43 million, according to the latest information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), led by a dramatic 27.4% surge in same-day visitors. According to the DSEC data released yesterday, same-day visitors reached 1.8 million in April 2019, while overnight visitors grew 5.4% year- on-year to 1.62 million.

The sharp rise in visitor arrivals comes as society discusses ways to combat a perceived overtourism problem. The Institute for Tourism Studies previously estimated that the city’s “optimal tourism carrying capacity” was about 40 million visitors per year; a figure that will likely be surpassed before 2019 is out.

The surge in same-day visitors, which in April accounted for 52.7% of all tourists, brought the average length of stay for visitors down by 0.1 days year-on-year to 1.1 days. Meanwhile, the average length of stay for same-day visitors held stable at 0.2 days and overnight visitors stayed on average for 2.2 days, an increase of 0.1 days year-on-year.

Visitors from mainland China increased by 13.5% year-on-year to 2.33 million, coming primarily from Guangdong Province (868,300), Hunan Province (119,200) and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (103,500).

Visitors from the cities of the Greater Bay Area grew by 17.6% year-on-
year to 1.45 million. Some 48.1% of visitors from the Greater Bay Area came from Hong Kong (696,900), 30% more than in April 2018. Those coming from Zhuhai surged by 40.6% to 227,600 (15.7% of the total) whereas those from Guangzhou decreased by 6% to 140,900 (9.7%).

At the same time, visitors from South Korea (61,500) increased by 0.8% year-on-year, whereas those from Taiwan (91,800) dropped by 2.9%.

In the first four months of 2019, visitor arrivals reached 13.8 million, up nearly 20% year-on-year. Overnight visitors (6.36 million) and same-day visitors (7.43 million) rose by 8.3% and 31.9% respectively. The average length of stay of visitors shortened by 0.1 days year-on-year to 1.1 days, with that of overnight visitors (2.2 days) and same-day visitors (0.2 days) remaining unchanged. DB

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