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Going Global: Hongkongers Remain Asia Pacific’s Top International Tourists, MasterCard Survey Reveals

September 25, 2015 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Hong Kong consumers continue to be the most well-travelled  tourists in Asia Pacific, with 84% of respondents having travelled internationally for leisure in the past 12 months, well above the regional average (41%) and followed by Singapore (80%) and China (74%). Local consumers are also among the most optimistic in their spending outlook on travel, dining and luxury shopping, according to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities.

During international leisure travel, Hongkongers spent an average of around HK$12,895 per person per trip, compared to HK$13,412 in the second half of 2014. The biggest share of travel expenditure remains transportation (26%), followed by accommodation (23%) and eating out (17%). Despite a drop in travel spending, more than eight in 10 international travelers (86%) planned to travel more or the same level in the next 12 months, second only to China (92%) in the region.

Dining out is a common habit among local consumers in Hong Kong. Almost all respondents (99%) ate out in the past six months, while 94%  intended to dine out the same or more in the next six months, ranking no. 1 in the region together with China (94%). Before dining, they tended to seek credit card promotions (44%), feedbacks from acquaintances (44%) and online reviews of dining outlets (43%) while more than two-thirds of respondents (69%) asked if there was any credit card promotion when paying the bill.

Hong Kong consumers are big fans of luxury shopping, with 75% of respondents planning to spend more or the same on luxury goods in the coming year, ranking no. 2 in Asia following China (77%). While China (HK$38,126) remains the biggest spender on luxury goods, Hong Kong secures its fourth place in the regional chart with an average intended spending of HK$23,845 in the next 12 months, after Japan (HK$32,253) and Korea (HK$25,771). While designer clothes and leather goods (29%) are the most desirable items among local consumers, there is also significant preference for jewelry (23%) as well as designer accessories and footwear (23%).

The survey also studied the saving behavior of Hongkongers, among whom 91% intended to save the same or more in the next six months. Although spending on overseas holidays (48%) was claimed to be the first item cut back in the event of a loss of household income, it is also the top spending priority of local households if they receive additional monthly income. Compared to Taiwan (86%) and Singapore (83%), only 74% of local parents in Hong Kong regularly saved for their children’s education while the average proportion of monthly household income saved to serve this purpose was 12%, slightly below the regional average (13%).

Anna Yip, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard, said, “I am delighted to see that Hongkongers are the most well-travelled globetrotters in the region. Despite the worldwide economic situation, it is encouraging to see local consumers are remaining positive on spending outlook for travel, dining and luxury shopping.”

Other findings about Hong Kong consumers include:

  • Japan (67%), South Korea (44%) and Taiwan (44%) remain the top three travel destinations in the next 12 months.
  • Airline websites (54%), travel agents (52%) and coupon sites or applications (40%) are the most preferred sources of travel information and deals among local travelers.
  • The most visited dining places among local consumers are fast food restaurants (79%), mid-range family restaurants (76%) and food courts (73%).
  • Cash is generally used for purchases at fast food restaurants and foot courts where meals tend to cost less than HK$300.
  • Millennials (18-29 years old) from China intend to spend on average HK$34,024 on luxury goods over the next year, significantly more than the Asia Pacific average of HK$20,155.
  • Following China (HK$34,024) and South Korea (HK$20,576), Hong Kong (HK$20,155) millennials ranks third in the regional chart of luxury spending, with an average expenditure equivalent to the regional average (HK$20,155).
  • Promotions play a significant role among online shoppers in Hong Kong, with 74% of respondents claiming to buy luxury goods on websites that offer discounts.
  • Hongkongers (32%) are less interested in attending education courses in the next 12 months than those in China (42%) and Taiwan (36%).

The latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel, Dining and Entertainment, Education, Money Management and Luxury Shopping was conducted between May and June 2015 and involved 8,718 consumers in 17 markets in Asia/Pacific. Data were collected via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire in local language, wherever appropriate and necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance. 

Percentage of Respondents in Asia/Pacific who Traveled Internationally in Past 12 Months Percentage of Respondents in Asia/Pacific who Planned to Dine out the Same or More in Next Six Months
  Market Percentage
1 Hong Kong 84
2 Singapore 80
3 China 74
4 Thailand 73
5 Malaysia 71
6 Taiwan 65
7 South Korea 60
8 Australia 49
9 New Zealand 48
10 Japan 38
11 Philippines 11
12 Myanmar 10
12 Sri Lanka 10
14 Bangladesh 6
15 Vietnam 4
16 Indonesia 2
17 India 1
  Market Percentage
1 Hong Kong 94
1 China 94
3 Singapore 90
3 Taiwan 90
5 New Zealand 86
6 Bangladesh 84
6 Japan 84
6 Vietnam 84
9 Australia 81
9 India 81
11 Myanmar 78
12 South Korea 77
12 Thailand 77
14 Indonesia 76
15 Malaysia 70
16 Sri Lanka 59
17 Philippines 50


Average Luxury Shopping Expenditure in Asia/Pacific in Next 12 Months
  Market Approx. Amount  (HKD)
1 China $38,126
2 Japan $32,253
3 South Korea $25,771
4 Hong Kong $23,845
5 Singapore $23,743
6 Australia $20,389
7 Malaysia $19,562
8 Taiwan $19,040
9 Thailand $18,143
10 New Zealand $14,633
11 Indonesia $10,397
12 India $9,032
13 Philippines $8,245
14 Vietnam $5,468

 MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties

The MasterCard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as theMasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment,Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

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