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Rising Tourism Spurs Hong Kong Luxury Sales

October 1, 2023  |  Leah Meirovich

Hong Kong retail sales jumped in August amid a continued tourism boom in the municipality and an improvement in the job market.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clock and valuable gifts climbed 57% year on year to HKD 5.17 billion ($660.6 million) for the month, according to data the government’s Census and Statistics Department released last week. Retail sales across all product categories rose 14% to HKD 32.44 billion ($4.14 billion).

The growth also reflected a favorable comparison with the same period a year ago, when Hong Kong was still under tight Covid-19 restrictions. At the time, tourism to the municipality was exceptionally low. A large portion of Hong Kong’s luxury revenue is derived from visitors — primarily from China — who travel there to purchase goods. Hong Kong’s border with the mainland reopened at the beginning of the year.

For the first eight months, proceeds from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts soared 63% to HKD 40.58 billion ($5.18 billion). Total retail sales for the period increased 19% to HKD 270.52 billion ($34.55 billion).

In August, 4.1 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong, compared to 59,610 during the same month last year. Of those who traveled to the municipality in August, 3.4 million were from the mainland, versus 48,269 in 2022.

“The value of total retail sales continued to register visible year-on-year growth in August, thanks to a further increase in visitor arrivals,” a government spokesperson said. “The retail sector will continue to benefit from the ongoing recovery of inbound tourism in the near term. Positive consumer sentiment amid improved labor-market conditions and the ‘Night Vibes Hong Kong’ campaign, which features a variety of activities and consumption offers, should also provide support.”

Image: The Mong Kok shopping district in Hong Kong. (Shutterstock)

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