China Hong KongGovernment pledges hand outs to sectors, including travel agencies, in the face of drops in visitor arrivals, event cancellations and attractions’ temporary closures

Government supports Hong Kong’s struggling travel agencies

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The Hong Kong Sevens rugby is one of several major events postponed.
The Hong Kong Sevens rugby is one of several major events postponed.
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam announced on Feb 14 that the government has pledged HK$25 million(US$3.2 billion)for struggling business sectors, including one-off handouts to travel agencies and retailers of US$10,300 and payments also to restaurants and licensed hawkers.

On the same day, the Hong Kong Tourism Board released January’s visitor arrival statistics with just 3.2 million visitors braving a trip to Hong Kong; the city is typically used to a robust 200,000 visitors a day. Over the month of January, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 after the Lunar New Year, the daily average stood at 100,000 with some days as low as 65,000.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) released traffic figures that reflected the decrease in visitors. January’s flight movements were down 9.1% to 33,210. Passengers numbers were  5.7 million passengers, a drop of 11.7%, year-on-year.

The news of the postponement of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens broke recently, the latest in many events postponed or cancelled, which also included events to celebrate this year’s Lunar New Year.

This month, the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, Art Basel, My Love Andy Lau World Tour, the Longines Masters Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Disney on Ice: Live Your Dreams have all been cancelled or postponed. March’s RISE 2020, one of the biggest annual tech conferences in Asia, has also been cancelled.

Visitors who are travelling to the city are advised to check DiscoverHongKong.com for the Hong Kong Travel Board’s latest travel tips and attractions status – currently sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, Noah’s Ark Hong Kong, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Hong Kong Wetland Park, the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, and various museums are temporarily closed.

Ocean Park Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland are also temporarily closed.

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