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 Pent Up International Demand to Boost China, Hong Kong
and Macau Tourism Industry in 2004


HONG KONG; LONDON – March 18 – The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released its 2004 forecast for China, Hong Kong and Macau Travel & Tourism today at the Hong Kong Tourism Symposium.

Following the SARS outbreak in 2003, which produced perhaps the most dramatic non-conflict losses of Travel & Tourism business witnessed in any economy in recent years, WTTC has forecast a strong return to growth for the China, Hong and Macau T&T industries.  For 2004, WTTC is forecasting:

Demand:  Encompassing all components of Travel & Tourism consumption, investment, government spending and exports to grow 10.2% (real terms) and total HKD335.6 billion (US$43.6 billion) in 2004 in Hong Kong.  The ten-year annualized growth (2005-2014) forecast for Hong Kong is 6.7% per annum illustrating the outlook for robust recovery in 2004.  The 2004 growth forecasts for China and Macau are 13.5% and 15.9% respectively.

Visitor Exports:  The Hong Kong industry is expected to benefit from strong Mainland traffic to post nearly HKD61.0 billion (US$7.9 billion) in total Visitor Exports, a gain of 19.4% on 2003 results.  This level represents 2.7% of total exports in Hong Kong.  In China, Visitor Exports are expected to total 4.4% of total exports and grow 20.5% in 2004.  For Macau, Visitor exports should total 41.8% of total exports and growth 17.0% on 2003 results.

GDP:  Travel & Tourism’s contribution to the Hong Kong economy is illustrated by the direct industry impact of 2.0% of total GDP and the combined direct and indirect impact of the Travel & Tourism economy expected to total 12.4% in 2004.  In China the 2004 Travel & Tourism industry and economy contributions are expected to total 2.5% and 11.4% respectively.  In Macau the forecasts for 2004 are 23.4% and 61.3% respectively for the Travel & Tourism industry and economy contribution to GDP.

Employment:  The Hong Kong Travel & Tourism industry is expected to produce nearly 9,000 new jobs in 2004 over its 2003 level to total 78,000 jobs or 2.4% of total employment.  The broader perspective of the Travel & Tourism economy (direct and indirect) is expected to create more than 30,000 new jobs for the HK economy for a total of 292,800 jobs dependent on Travel & Tourism or 9.0% of total employment.  In China, the Travel & Tourism industry and economy totals are expected to reach 14.8 million jobs (2.0% of total employment) and 62.3 million jobs (8.3% of total employment) respectively.  The 2004 forecasts for Macau are expected to total 74,200 jobs (32.8% of total employment) and 179,100 jobs (79.1% of total employment).

WTTC President, Jean-Claude Baumgarten said, “We are thrilled that China, Hong Kong and Macau are recovering from the devastating blow of SARS in 2003. After several years of weak economy, the terrorism events of 9/11, the war in Iraq and last years SARS outbreak, we’re expecting the pent up international demand to join the exploding mainland traffic to provide a much needed boost to the industry and the economy.”

Speaking about the state of the industry, Mr. Baumgarten continued, “I think many of the players, public and private sector alike, have learned a tough lesson over the past few years about the sensitivity this industry has to external events – terrorism, war, SARS - and have sent a message loud and clear that they are ready, willing and able to work together and overcome the challenge.  To their collective credit, they acted swiftly and decisively, and we should all be very proud of their efforts.  Travel & Tourism is one of the most important employers in the region providing in 2004 one in every 11.2 jobs in Hong Kong, one in 12.0 in China and one in 1.3 in Macau and no longer are we content to sit on our laurels and hope that providing excellent products and service will be sufficient to guarantee our future growth and prosperity.  We must be proactive and work together, public and private sectors, to ensure that our industry is protected and nurtured.  It’s in our common economic interest.”

Richard Miller, Executive Vice President of the World Travel & Tourism Council presented the research to special briefing of industry leaders at the Hong Kong Tourism Symposium.  Speaking at the briefing Mr. Miller reported said, “We have been watching the indicators closely for signs of recovery and the last quarter of 2003 gave us the confidence that Travel & Tourism in Hong Kong, China and Macau was poised for a return to growth.”  Mr. Miller added, “Although the Hong Kong and Macau Travel & Tourism industries are relatively mature compared to the mainland Travel & Tourism economy they still have enormous potential for growth opportunities that cover the full range of Travel & Tourism business from small family operations to the large multi-nationals and at the same time act as a catalyst of job creation which is so critical.”

About The World Travel & Tourism Council
The WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry.  With Chief Executives of some one hundred of the world’s leading Travel & Tourism companies as its members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to Travel & Tourism. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world’s largest industries, employing c. 200 million people and generating over 10% of world GDP.

About the 2004 TSA Researxch
The 2004 WTTC TSA Research for China, Hong Kong and Macau is the latest in a 13 year series of reports produced by the World Travel & Tourism Council to implement the United Nations standard for economic assessment of the Travel & Tourism industry (called "Tourism Satellite Accounting").

Richard Miller
+1 646 338 0300

Also See: Hong Kong Hotel Occupancy for First Eleven Months of 2003 was 68%, Compared with 84% for the Same Period in 2002; Mainland China Visitors a Key to Recovery / January 2004
Hong Kong 2003 Visitor Arrivals Totalled 15.54 million, Down 6.2% from the Previous Year; Could Exceed the 20 million Mark in 2004 / March 2004

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