Taiwan witnessed a swell in tourist numbers this holiday season, while Hong Kong saw a mild decline in numbers.
The May Day holiday period this year saw a number of mainland tourists flocking to Taiwan as opposed to the regular holiday hot spot Hong Kong. Taiwan recorded a sharp 33 percent rise in tourist numbers while Hong Kong recorded a slight slump of 1.6 percent. Though the Hong Kong Tourism Officials described the decline in numbers as “mild”, it is an indicator that tourist preferences are shifting.
Many attribute this mild, but significant trend to the recent clashes between mainland tourists and Hong Kong residents. The clashes between the locals and tourists flared up after an incident of a lady tourist allowing her child to urinate on the streets.
News about such clashes has been doing the rounds of Chinese as well as international media. The sentiments of a lot of mainland Chinese tourists has been hurt, in a recent poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal – close to 80 percent of the 1,065 mainland Chinese-language readers claim such events have dissuaded them from visiting Hong Kong.
Thus, it is believed by many that the strained tension between the locals and tourists in Hong Kong is what is leading to a decline in tourist numbers.
It is the small island of Taiwan that has mainly benefited from this.
Photo Credits: Hong Kong business