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HK retailers feel the pain as China economic slump hits travelling, shopping

For Hong Kong, it’s been one thing after another.

A series of anti-China and pro-democracy protests last year prompted stores to close and mainland tour groups to cancel bookings. Meanwhile, a slowing Chinese economy and President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption and austerity campaigns have also made the Chinese more wary of buying pricey cognac and Gucci bags in the city.

While still the biggest outbound destination for Chinese tour groups, Hong Kong is in danger of losing its lead. Mainland Chinese travellers to Hong Kong last year grew by the slowest pace since 2009, Bloomberg Intelligence data show.

Suncorp notes that the declining AUD has brought in more short term arrivals to Australia, and Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that it is the Chinese who are coming in increasing numbers with more than 1 million arriving in the 12 months through May, a 17 percent increase year on year.

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