Shopping tourism flees Hong Kong

Figures on the impact of the political crisis in Hong Kong are beginning to be known. If a few weeks ago it was made public that, for the first time in a decade, this region was officially going into recession, now we are beginning to see the real impact on the most sensitive sectors: tourism and purchasing.

Photo Steven Wei
Photo Steven Wei

Until now, this place has been a leisure destination for wealthy Asian families: women who accompanied their husbands on business trips and they went shopping. They did a lot of shopping. In fact, a very important part of the turnover of the big luxury companies came from Hong Kong, thanks to the fact that it was not only the economic centre, but also the financial centre of Asia along with Singapore. And its bonuses in investment banking are just as attractive as in New York or London.

But social mobilizations and revolts for more freedoms and democracy on the peninsula are frightening tourists and businesses. Moncler, for example, has sold 40% less during the third quarter of the year due to instability “and they see no signs of improvement in the short term,” according to the company itself. Hong Kong accounts for 6% of Moncler’s business in Asia.

LVMH has not been spared the burn either. The luxury cruise liner recorded a 25% drop in sales in the third quarter due to “pro-democracy” demonstrations, it said in a statement after releasing its quarterly sales results. Arnault’s group generated a total of 13.3 billion euros in sales in the third quarter, an increase of 17% in published data and 11% in organic data, assuring that the “difficult context was in Hong Kong”. Prada, after presenting its results, suffered the biggest fall of the company on the Hong Kong stock exchange since 2017.