Visitors on package tours fell 35.7% in September, latest official data shows. This was despite overall visitation rising by 8%, indicating a big shift over to IVS travellers, who come on individual visas.
Most of the drop came from mainland visitors. Of the 448,000 who came in on package tours, 323,000 were from the mainland, but their number was down 37.6%, probably due to the protests in Hong Kong.
That pulled the year-to-date number into the red. In the first three quarters of the year, package tour visitors totalled 6,797,000, down 4.5% YoY.
A total of 1,118,000 guests checked into hotels & guesthouses in September, up by 2.0% YoY. Growth was especially strong from Hong Kong (153,000, up 30.9%), while those from the mainland (754,000) inched down by 0.7%. The average occupancy rate of hotels & guesthouses dropped by 2.1 percentage points YoY to 84.6%; the rates of 4-star hotels (83.2%) and 5-star hotels (87.0%) fell by 3.0 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points respectively. The average length of stay of guests held steady year-on-year at 1.5 nights.
In the first three quarters of 2019, guests of hotels & guesthouses totalled 10,545,000, up by 1.7% year-on-year. The average occupancy rate of hotels & guesthouses rose marginally by 0.4 percentage points to 90.8%. The average length of stay of guests remained stable at 1.5 nights. Visitor-guests accounted for 70.7% of the total overnight visitors, down by 1.3 percentage points year-on-year.