Hong Kong

Hong Kong

The International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended on 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the start of 2021. The ONS have made every effort to produce high-quality estimates for the periods when IPS data is not being collected but have not been able to produce a full set of results. See the 2020 inbound page for more information. Data for 2021 and 2022 was also impacted by COVID-19, more information can be found on the About IPS page.

Due to the above, the latest full year IPS data below is from 2019. You can access data detailed data from 2020 onwards on the latest annual page.

Visitor characteristics

  • In 2022, 31% of visits from Hong Kong were made by British passport holders and 41% by Hong Kong nationals - in 2019 this was 17% and 64% respectively
  • Just above half of holidays visitors (excluding British expats) were making a repeat trip to Britain in 2015 (within 10 years, 53%)
  • Departing Hong Kongers (excluding British expats) are less likely to recommend Britain for a visit: only 76% of them are 'extremely' likely to recommend Britain against 82% for the all-market average

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Visited a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)26.9
Global rank for international tourism expenditure13
Number of outbound visits (m)36.5
Number of outbound visits excl. China and Macao (m)8.0
Most visited destinationChina
Most visited destination (excl. China and Macao)Japan
Most visited destination in Western EuropeUnited Kingdom

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)7.5
GDP per capita PPP (US$)58,961
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.3
Annual GDP growth (%)4.4

Inbound visits to Britain from Hong Kong

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Number of visits

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Total expenditure (GBP)

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Total nights spent

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Average length of stay (Nights)


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Average spend per visit (GBP)

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What Hong Kong citizens think about Britain

  • When asked how well they feel they know some destinations, overseas travellers from Hong Kong are more likely to say that they feel they know ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ about Britain as a destination, than they do about France, Italy, the US, or Australia
  • Hong Kong respondents also tend to rate Britain highest for its rich, interesting history and heritage, followed by the fact that it has much to explore outside of its capital/main city
  • Its rich sporting offer and its mixed offer of old and new are also well scored by Hong Kongers
  • Britain is seen as more ‘cosmopolitan’ than leading competitor destinations, but is outperformed in terms of associations with attributes such as ‘colourful’, ‘vibrant’ and ‘fun’
  • Competitor destinations are more highly associated with offering ‘value’ than is Britain, but the latter is ranked second amond destinations they would like to visit, if cost was no issue

Caring for visitors

  • The family is the most important part of life; this cultural value of togetherness impacts on travel behaviour
  • Visitors from Hong Kong are more likely than average to use a credit card while in Britain
  • Some travellers may prefer modern accomodation options to traditional, or quintessially British ones
  • Hong Kong citizens love food and are adventurous in tasting local cuisine and produce

The leisure & travel trade

  • There are over 1,400 tour operators and travel agencies in Hong Kong, but around 20 dominate the market
  • Details of updated product and packages should be sent to the Hong Kong trade by December
  • Using English as the language for meetings and correspondence is normally not a problem

Access to Britain from Hong Kong

Weekly aircraft departures47
Weekly seat capacity13,764
Airports with direct routes in Hong Kong1
Airports with direct routes in Britain2
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a 65% reduction in direct seat capacity from Hong Kong to the UK in 2020.
  • 2021 was 70% behind pre-COVID levels, and 2022 was 81% behind pre-pandemic levels.
  • Into 2023, direct seat capacity to the UK is showing signs of recovery at 63% of pre-pandemic capacity.
  • The current reduced rate of Air Passenger Duty for visitors departing Britain for Hong Kong is £91.