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Hong Kong Reports Drop in Tourism

September 01, 1997|From Bloomberg News

Hong Kong's hotels in the month after the territory's return to China were barely more than half-full, as tourist arrivals from Japan and China slid.

Hotel occupancy rates in July were 58%, compared with 87% in the same month last year, said the Hong Kong Tourist Association.

The drop of more than a half-million visitors extends this year's tourist industry troubles, which local officials blame on Asian economic problems and the over-hyped hand-over that kept tourists away.

"It will take months to return to the levels of 1996," a record year, said Amy Chan, the association's executive director.

The two biggest markets, China and Japan, accounted for most of the decline. The number of visitors from Japan dropped 62% and that from the mainland fell 47%.

Visitors from Taiwan increased 15% for the first seven months. Those from the Americas jumped 10%.

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