Revenue from room sales is set to plunge as much as 50% this month, according to Yiu Si-wing, a Hong Kong lawmaker representing the tourism industry who said visits from mainland China that usually account for 80% of arrivals are down most as people fear for their safety.
The slump will deal a further blow to an economy that’s already contracting after months of unrest, as well as fallout from the U.S.-China trade dispute. Yiu said hotel occupancy rates that averaged 90% in the first half will fall by a third or more
“The impact on tourism is huge,” Yiu said in an interview, estimating that half of mainland visitors due in August are likely to cancel or defer their plans. Yiu cited factors such as a reported attack by protesters on a man suspected of being a security agent from the nearby city of Shenzhen.
Beijing resident Jasmine Ji, 23, said she will delay a trip to Hong Kong to complete an application for permanent residency in a city where she previously graduated from university.
“I feel like my personal safety could be severely threatened if they find out I speak Mandarin or am a Chinese citizen,” she said. “I won’t fly to Hong Kong airport until the situation and protests are settled there.”