The Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that the city received 3.2 million visitors in January 2020, representing a 53% drop in the daily average from the first half of 2019.
In a news release published on Friday, the Tourism Board said the daily average number of visitors in January was 100,000, down from a 200,000 daily average prior to the start of last year’s political protests. The statement added that the “Mainland (Chinese) and short-haul markets were the most affected, recording a drop of over 50%.”
The Tourism Board said “the outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) aggravated the declines, as some airlines have suspended flights to Hong Kong” while the government’s implementation “of measures restricting the flow of people between Hong Kong and the Mainland” also impacted cross border visitor figures.
The Tourism Board added that “Preliminary data in February suggests that the arrivals have continued to decline, with average daily arrivals falling below 3,000, of which 75% were non-Mainland visitors.”
Throughout January and February the Hong Kong government implemented a series of travel restrictions with mainland China which included partially closing the border and mandating that all travelers arriving from mainland China undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. As of February 14, Hong Kong has more than 50 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.