Tourism industry is important
The Mainland factor is of increasing importance
Promising prospects in the near-term
Challenges for sustainable growth in the longer term
Why Tourism Industry is ImportantTourist arrivals registered a strong rebound in 2010, surging 21.8% to a record of 36 million. Mainland visitors soared 27% to 22 million and tourists from other parts of the world rose 17%. In the first two months of this year, the total number of visitors rose 11.9%, driven largely by a 15.2% growth of visitors from the Mainland.Tourism is one of the four pillar industries in Hong Kong along with financial services, trading and logistics, as well as professional services. The tourism sector’s growth is the fastest of the four pillar industries. Between 2000 and 2009, tourism grew by an average annual rate of 5.7%, compared to a 2.2% growth of the overall economy.The valued added of the tourism industry amounted to HKD50.9 billion in 2009. While tourism accounts for only 3.3% of nominal GDP, it employs 5.5% of total workers in the territory. The higher percentage contribution to total employment relative to that of GDP indicates that the sector is relatively labour intensive. Between 2000 and 2009, 28.4% of all new jobs in Hong Kong created were in the tourism sector.Moreover, many jobs in the tourism industry require relatively less skills, as reflected in the hourly wages. This is particularly important when demand for lower-skilled jobs is limited at present amidst Hong Kong’s transformation into a more knowledge-based economy.
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Economic Focus (April 20, 2010). Hang Seng Bank Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of article(s) in whole or in part is permitted provided the source is quoted. Please direct any inquiry to Economic Research Department, G.P.O. Box 2985, Hong Kong.