Mass demonstrations in Hong Kong have failed to deter long-haul travellers to the city but numbers are down from other parts of Asia.
Flight bookings to Hong Kong from Asian markets fell by 5.4% in the four-week period to July 13 over the equivalent period last year.
This coincided with a two million-strong demonstration accompanied by a general strike and riots on June 16, the siege of police headquarters on June 21, the storming of the Legislative Council building on July 1 and riot police charging a group of protesters with batons on July 7.
The sharp set-back reversed a positive trend in which bookings for the first six and a half months of the year were up 6.6% on 2018, according to new data from ForwardKeys, which analyses more than 17 million flight bookings a day.
However, the wave of demonstrations in Hong Kong against a controversial extradition bill has yet to impact travel from other parts of the world.
ForwardKeys insights vice president Olivier Ponti said: “Whilst the numbers do not look good, things are not all bad for Hong Kong’s visitor economy.
“So far, the adverse media coverage of the demonstrations has not caused an overall decline in long-haul bookings to Hong Kong and the number of Asian bookings made in 2019 is still ahead of those made during the same time period in 2018 – although growth has slowed substantially since the mass protest of June 16.
“Also, it seems as if the lowest period occurred prior to the storming of the Legislative Council.
“However, on the less optimistic side, there were further demonstrations after our most recent numbers were run, so another downturn is possible.”
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