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Travel / Tourism


Hong Kong Outbound Tourism Data



2016 (E)

2017 (E)

Departures by residents





Departures for the U.S.


122,400 (E)



International tourism expenditure of residents (US$ million)


23,133 (E)



Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, World Bank and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Hong Kong is unique in the outbound source travel market. Hong Kong ranked as the 4th largest outbound market in Asia and 14th in the world in terms of international tourism expenditure, according to UNWTO. There are five major reasons behind this phenomenon: (1) Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a density of 6,654 people per square kilometer. Since there is also a general lack of local recreational options, Hong Kong people often choose to spend their holidays outside of Hong Kong; (2) Hong Kong people have high spending power. Hong Kong’s GPD per capita ranked the 3rd highest in Asia; (3) Hong Kong’s geographic location and excellent transportation infrastructure facilitated traveling abroad ; (4) Most people in Hong Kong speak English and hold a Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport, which entitles visa-free access to 156 countries and territories in the world; and (5) the Hong Kong government controls neither its people nor foreign exchange from leaving the territory. Due to these factors, Hong Kong residents traveling in the region and abroad for business and pleasure continue to increase. However, according to BMI’s outbound tourism data, many of those departures (96.5%) are for mainland China, Macau and other nearby Asian destinations. There lies good potential for promoting U.S. tourism.

Hong Kong is strategically located: it is within five hours’ flight from most cities in Asia and is less than two hours’ drive from Southern China. This proximity gives Hong Kong instant access to the affluent consumer market, with 120 million people in southern China alone. Hong Kong's Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with China gives Hong Kong-based travel companies preferential treatment in China. Hong Kong’s world class integrated transportation infrastructure can better facilitate outbound travel. There are over 100 airlines operating around 1,100 flights per day to 190 destinations worldwide, including 47 cities in mainland China. Many Asian travelers, especially those from mainland China choose to transit through Hong Kong.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama announced together that 2016 is the U.S.-China Tourism Year for both countries on tourism cooperation. With a streamlined visa application process – where qualified travelers can apply for a U.S. visa without interview and most applicants can get a 10-year multiple-entries visa, visa processing is more straight-forward and attracting repeat travelers to the United States. Brand USA has several offices in China and in Hong Kong. With airlines launching several new routes between the United States and Hong Kong in the past few years and expecting more to come, U.S. destinations are more accessible for Hong Kong travelers.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

  • Fixed itinerary themed-tours for groups
  • Prepaid package tours for free independent travelers (FIT)
  • Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition (MICE)


Hong Kong citizens tend to travel during public holidays such as Chinese Lunar New Year, Easter, and Christmas because an average worker only has 10-14 days of annual leave. The traveling seasons usually occur around these public holidays as well as the summer holidays. The summer months of June, July and August on average account for 30 percent of Hong Kong outbound travelers to the United States.

Various published statistics indicate that Free Independent Travel (FIT) accounts for a significant portion of Hong Kong and mainland China outbound travels. Cruises are a popular choice amongst families. Wine country tours have become very popular, especially among the Chinese travel market. Other specialty tours for diving, golfing, horseback riding and skiing have also been quite successful. Shopping is also an important element for many Hong Kong and mainland tourists.

Web Resources

Trade Shows / Exhibitions / Conferences:

The 30th International Travel Expo Hong Kong
Date: June 16 – 19, 2016
Venue: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center (HKCEC), Wanchai, Hong Kong
Organizer: TKS Exhibition Services Ltd.

The 4th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo
Date: July 22 – 24, 2016
Venue: Venetian Macao, Macau
Organizer: Macao Government Tourism Office

Guangzhou International Travel Fair
Date: February 23 – 25, 2017
Venue: Pazhou Exhibition Center, Guangzhou, China
Organizer: Hannover Fairs China Ltd., Guangzhou Office

Industry Contacts:

Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong

For more information about this industry sector, please contact U.S. Commercial Service:

Ms. Kimmy Lee, Commercial Specialist
Tel: (852) 2521-5950
Fax: (852) 2845-9800

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  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.