Business / Industries

HK to retain No 1 shopping spot: report

By Li Tao from Hong Kong (China Daily) Updated: 2012-11-14 10:47

Hong Kong will remain the top shopping destination for mainland tourists over the coming years, thanks to its competitive advantages, Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report.

In its latest white paper on the city's retail sector released on Tuesday, the property agency said Hong Kong's broader spectrum of products as well as competitive prices will continue to attract mainland tourists to the city over the coming years despite some retailers experiencing a sales growth slowdown since the second quarter this year.

HK to retain No 1 shopping spot: report

Pedestrians cross the road in front of a Chanel store in Tsim Sha Tsui. Hong Kong will still keep its position as the best shopping destination in the coming years, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. [Photo/Agencies]


The city's status as the most popular travel destination for mainland tourist is unlikely to be supplanted after data showed that it is a choice of over 40 percent of total outbound mainland tourists in 2011, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Hong Kong, a real tax heaven for international goods, provides more options and earlier availability as well as genuine goods guarantee to shopping enthusiasts, particularly those from the mainland where luxury goods are generally more expensive due to various taxes, said Marcos Chan, Greater Pearl River Delta head of research with Jones Lang LaSalle.

"On top of the city's retail market attractions, the strong yuan these days also gives a natural discount of about 20 percent for mainland shoppers," Chan told at a media briefing in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Government figures showed that mainland tourist arrivals to the city continued to expand in 2012 amidst global economic uncertainties. In the first eight months, a total of 31.6 million tourists from the mainland have visited the city, outstripping the 28.1 million number registered last year, which now also accounts for over 70 percent of the total visitors to the city.

At the same time, mainland visitors' average spending reached HK$8,200 ($1,058) in Hong Kong in 2011 - 30 percent more than visitors from other countries and economies for the period, who are more "generous spenders" in the city as indicated in the white paper.

The research paper also highlighted the importance of outbound tourism spending to the city's economic growth, especially those from the mainland.

The shopping expenditure of mainland visitors in the first half of 2012 reached HK$61.5 billion, compared with the HK$110.8 billion for the whole year of 2011, which represents some 28 percent of Hong Kong's total retail sales, and about 6 percent of the city's GDP.

Jones Lang LaSalle said it remains optimistic about the outlook of Hong Kong's retail market, projecting that the numbers of mainland visitors will grow by between 10 to 15 percent per year, along with the income growth which will also translate into higher spending in the city.

It, nevertheless, forecasts that retail property prices will further float in Hong Kong after retail rents in the market, especially those across prime locations like Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, have surged tremendously, along with the city's total retail sales growth which have achieved a compound increase of 13.1 percent during the 2007 and 2011 period.


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