Retail in Asia


Hong Kong and Macau track sharp surge in travel

Hong Kong International Airport served 2.1 million passengers in January, a 2,900 percent year-on-year increase. Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) reported that the airport served over 80,000 passengers daily at peak, reaching nearly 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The strong rebound was driven by the lifting of all travel restrictions and reopening of its borders with Mainland China last month. The most significant increases registered were from those passengers flying to and from Southeast Asia and Japan.

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International passenger flight volumes in January rose 141 percent to 10,665, compared to 4,427 during the same month in 2022. On a 12-month rolling basis, the number of passengers grew year-on-year by 466 percent to 7.6 million.

AAHK said, “Due to the relaxation of travel restrictions, all passenger segments experienced significant growths, particularly Hong Kong residents, compared to the same month last year.”

It added, “Strong passenger demand was observed in the second half of the month due to the Chinese New Year holiday. The re-opening of the Mainland market to international travel also drove a recovery in passenger traffic between Hong Kong and mainland China.”

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Meanwhile in Macau, total visitor arrivals grew 101.3 percent year-on-year in January to 1,397,748, according to the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).

It is the first month in which tourism numbers have passed one million since the pandemic forced the Asian gaming hub to close its borders in 2020.

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The surge in visitor arrivals was boosted by the easing of entry restrictions and the Lunar New Year holidays. Visitor numbers from the Chinese Mainland, the key source market, increased by 54.5 percent year-on-year to 991,641.

Macau also saw 356,958 visitors from Hong Kong, up by 704.3 percent year-on-year, while those travelling from Taiwan reached 18,868, a 139 percent year-on-year rise.