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Mainland a hot holiday attraction for HK tourists

BY :China Daily

UPDATED :2024-02-22

The just-concluded Spring Festival holiday witnessed a fivefold increase in consumption from Hong Kong residents on the Chinese mainland as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) becomes more integrated and convenient for residents within the region.

According to a report published on February 18 by Weixin — known as WeChat overseas — the number of online and offline consumption transactions from Hong Kong residents on the Chinese mainland soared nearly fivefold year-on-year, while the total consumption amount increased threefold during the Spring Festival holiday, which lasted from February 10 to 17.

Money spent on offline catering through WeChat Pay HK saw an over 30-fold year-on-year jump in terms of consumption value. Weixin Pay is a mobile payment service within the Weixin app designed for users on the Chinese mainland, while WeChat Pay HK is an electronic wallet denominated in Hong Kong dollars and available for WeChat users in the special administrative region.

Meanwhile, the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland traveling to Hong Kong during the extended holiday also increased significantly. The average daily number of Weixin Pay offline transactions in Hong Kong surged fivefold year-on-year, the report said.

Such figures represented ever-increasing enthusiasm for intercity travel in the GBA during the eight-day holiday, as most people in the area speak Cantonese and share similar social customs, consumption preferences and culinary habits.

Recent years have witnessed rising numbers of Hong Kong residents flocking to cities on the Chinese mainland for weekend getaways, thanks to convenient transportation and services, as well as more affordable groceries.

EGL Tours, a Hong Kong-based travel agency, said in January that more than 3,000 people booked places to visit mega-retailer Sam's Club in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, in the few weeks prior to Chinese New Year.

Analysts from The Economist Intelligence Unit said in a note that far more Hong Kong residents traveled to the Chinese mainland and overseas than arriving tourists in 2023, reversing pre-COVID-19 pandemic trends.

"Hong Kong consumers' increased spending on the Chinese mainland — particularly in Shenzhen — will probably be a long-term trend," they said.

As the GBA celebrated its 5th anniversary on February 18, Liu Guohong, deputy head of the China Development Institute in Shenzhen, said the GBA has developed to be more integrated, with infrastructure connectivity of the city cluster becoming more convenient.

"More importantly, such integrated development helps strengthen the advantages of the area on the global stage as a whole," Liu said.

Cover image: WeChat

Editor: Joyce