NielsenIQ: Hong Kong Leading the Vacation Bucket List for Mainland Tourists

  • Destination Hong Kong appeals to multiple tourists with wider choices ranging from local experiences, varied cuisines to retail therapy
  • Shopping dominates high-spending activity backed by 72% respondents, strong demand for luxury and beauty products
  • Majority intend to revisit Hong Kong within twelve months with intention to spend more

HONG KONG – Media OutReach Newswire – 11 December 2023 – In the post-pandemic era, Mainland outbound travelers are inclined towards Asian destinations as compared to Europe, North America and Oceania, with rising preference for a trip to Hong Kong. In a report titled – ‘The Redefined Mainland Tourists’ by NielsenIQ, the top three purposes for Hong Kong travel are shopping, followed by sightseeing and vacation, confirmed by 56%, 46% respondents respectively, as per the survey.

Composition of visitors are diverse with 30% are looking for a splurge in the trip to Hong Kong while 70% keep it basic and seeking to satiate their craving for unique local experiences. This polarization of tourists is also fueled by social media engagement, promotional offers and ease of digital payments enabling unique experiences for tourists.

Engagement marketing and retail experience: To stay relevant and connected

Though shopping is still the key purpose visiting Hong Kong, Mainland tourists are coming back to Hong Kong with the focus is not just on product offering but also the retail experience.

“The majority of Mainland Tourists are looking for retail experiences in their repeat visits. Unique product mix offered in Hong Kong or special edition for tourists would be important in attracting tourists. The impact of inflation globally has muted the price advantage for tourists indicating more opportunities by way of special promotions and retail experiences,” said Mandy Tam, Vice President of Consumer Insights from NielsenIQ

“Tourists these days are relying heavily on social media for information on trip and purchases, it would be a good opportunity to utilize social media platforms for engaging and targeted marketing to make the experience more unique and interesting.” Tam suggested.

Increased travel spending with shift in shopping demands

According to the report, Mainland Tourists have increased travel spending by 21% in 2023 vs 2019, with average spending at HKD 33,000 per trip in 2023. Fashion and beauty have been the top two categories attracting spending Beauty products continue to remain the most planned category to purchase prior to the trip and cosmetics is observed as the fastest-growing category in FMCG, with a 33% sales increase compared to 2019[1]. From different sources, Mainland visitors are also showing good interest with finance services in Hong Kong.

Despite shopping being the main reason factor to visit Hong Kong, the demand is shifted and 48% has substitution during the pandemic. On the other hand, spending in Macau has increased and visitors tend to stay longer in Macau. Categories noticed with more purchases in Macau such as fashion, supplements and personal care products.

Omnichannel Dynamic: Online purchase continued the norms and expand opportunity in this AI-and tech-led era

Mainland Tourists found substitutional online and offline channels to purchase under border restrictions. The study suggested that online purchase continued to be the norm, as 42% of shoppers claimed they have shopped via overseas e-commerce sites. Mainland tourists are claiming online purchases continue to stay. “The momentum in driving integrated omnichannel strategy needs to be strengthened to seize the opportunity with interchangeable online and offline channels.” Tam suggested.


NIQ Mainland Tourist Study diagnosed travel patterns, shopping behaviour, and the visiting experience of Mainland Chinese visitors in Hong Kong on different tourist’s attractions and the related since 2010. The research was conducted in August 2023, and the latest findings of the survey was based on online interviews of 1,000 mainland visitors from Greater Bay Area as well as other key cities, aged between 18 and 65, who travelled to Hong Kong in 2023.

[1] Source: NIQ Retail Measurement Service, Moving Annual Total (MAT) September 2023 vs 2019

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NIQ is the world’s leading consumer intelligence company, delivering the most complete understanding of consumer buying behavior and revealing new pathways to growth. In 2023, NIQ combined with GfK, bringing together the two industry leaders with unparalleled global reach. With a holistic retail read and the most comprehensive consumer insights—delivered with advanced analytics through state-of-the-art platforms—NIQ delivers the Full ViewTM.

NIQ, is an Advent International portfolio company with operations in 100+ markets, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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