“The Impact On Tourism Is Huge:” Hong Kong Hotel Crisis Erupts Amid Escalating Protests
Hong Kong might not be able to avoid a financial crisis this year or next despite possible stimulus packages to shore up its faltering economy amid violent protests across the city. This has led to a rapid decline in tourism, forcing major hotel chains in the city to substantially slash room prices.
Yiu Si-wing, a Hong Kong lawmaker representing the tourism industry, told Bloomberg that hotel revenue is expected to crash 50% this month thanks to escalating protests. She said visits from mainland China account for 80% of arrivals are significantly lower due to social unrest.
Yiu said hotel occupancy rates averaged 90% in 1H19, could drop by as much as 33% or more in 2H19. Arrivals from the mainland to Hong Kong, a significant source of consumption for the city, could grind to a halt.
“The impact on tourism is huge,” Yiu told Bloomberg. She said at least half of the mainland visitors due in August had canceled their plans. Yiu said top-trending topics on Chinese social media platform Weibo this week included several incidents of where violent protestors attacked government forces.
Some mainland Chinese are shunning Hong Kong because of the risks associated with its airport being closed down for an extended period of time.
Grace Huang, a 20-year-old Wuhan University student, told Bloomberg her layover at Hong Kong International Airport was horrifying earlier this week. “I fear I’m going to be beaten,” she told Bloomberg, as thousands of protestors successfully locked down the airport for several days.
— wingless angel (@saintgreeedy) August 13, 2019