Big freeze in China brings record tourist numbers to Hong Kong

Other News Materials 19 February 2008 08:15 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - China's wintry Lunar New Year weather contributed to record numbers of people flooding into Hong Kong over the holiday period, the territory's tourism board said Tuesday.

More than one million visitors came to the city over the 12-day annual holiday, and 730,000 of them were from mainland China, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Speaking in a series of radio and newspaper interviews Tuesday, the board's chairman James Tien said heavy snows across China had contributed to the influx into Hong Kong.

Hundreds of millions of people in China travel for the Lunar New Year holiday but many had switched destinations to Hong Kong because of the poor weather, Tien said.

The total number of visitor arrivals in Hong Kong, a city of 6.9 million, was up 10.2 per cent to 1,072,648 over the Chinese New Year holiday period, according to the board's figures.

Tens of millions of Chinese people, particularly factory workers trying to return home to see their families, were stranded because of heavy snows throughout the Lunar New Year period.