If SCMP is right, a Feb 8 CNY report suggests HK$355.011 Billion (US$56 Billion) in spending by 51 million Mainland visitors to Hong Kong in 2018.

If accurate, 2018 is the best tourist year in Hong Kong’s history…with China alone accounting for 77% of visitors and 80% of revenues.

But locals are upset about crowds. They believe China’s economy is crashing. Those “masses” of people aren’t spending. Revenues are down. Store owners report huge drops in revenue…

…but does anyone bother to CHECK government data?

Tourism revenues PEAKED IN 2014 before the Chinese government crackdown. Since then, Hong Kong’s tourism revenue fell off a cliff, and then gradually crept back up. See chart.

If the report is true, revenue is up YoY, after years of decline.

So why are shop owners complaining?

One word: RELEVANCY

Hong Kong’s small shop retail is “dead” to Mainland consumers. They can replace any offers with TaoBao or JD, and get much better quality, service and price. They also prefer upscale shopping experiences, branded merchandise and personal catering.

If your store is down 80%, time to say “YES” and embrace change…

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