So far this year 7.3 million Chinese tourists have come to Hong Kong – a year-on-year rise of 19 percent.
Tourism operators throughout Asia are gearing up for China’s “Golden Week” May holidays and are preparing to go head to head as they fight for their share of this lucrative market.China has three versions of “Golden Week” every year, marking Labor Day, the Spring Festival in January or February and National Day on October 1. “Golden Week” traditionally sees more than 150 million Chinese head off for holidays, according to the China’s National Tourism Administration.
The southern Chinese destination of Hainan Island opened the first duty-free shop available to locals in all of China. The opening was estimated 15,000 shoppers in the first two days. Mainland authorities make a decision to allow duty-free shopping for domestic travelers in Hong Kong.
In 2010, Hong Kong attracted an estimated 22.7 million Chinese over the border and 76 percent went on shopping. Tourists visiting Hong Kong last year spent an estimated HK$109.59 billion (9.6 billion euros) on shopping. But the city is surprised that Hainan now offers special tours over Golden Week that focus on the life of Dr Sun Yat-sun.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolution which led to the founding of modern China and Sun was the man commonly seen as its founding father. Although he wasn’t born in Hong Kong, the city has in recent years made much of the fact that he was schooled here, now calling the city Sun’s “intellectual birthplace.”
To cash in on the anniversary, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (http://www.discoverhongkong.com) has arranged special tours marking points of interest in Sun’s life – including the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum – and will also be holding an exhibition in honor of the man. The HKTB will send an estimated 300,000 promotional text messages across the border to let tourists know what is going on in the future.