Its not the first time this has happened, it has been for the past few months. Well, there are no guests in Hong Kong now. Mr. Wen, a senior tour guide in Hong Kong, smiled bitterly. From June to now, Mr. Wen has almost no tourist group to receive, and can only live on part-time jobs and savings.
Since 1992, Mr. Wen has been working as a tour guide in Hong Kong. He is a veteran of the industry. Over the past 27 years, he has survived the 1998 Hong Kong financial crisis and the 2003 SARS. But I am not sure if I can survive this time.
Chen maobo, the financial secretary of the Hong Kong SAR government, said Tuesday that the downward pressure on Hong Kongs economy is significant due to the violence that has lasted for several months. It is predicted that the economy will experience negative growth this year, the first annual negative growth forecast since 2009. He also predicted that affected by the economic environment, the SAR government would run a deficit for the first time in 15 years in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Under the violence, tourism, catering, retail and other industries bear the brunt. The adverse impact is reflected in a series of economic figures: the number of visitors to Hong Kong fell 43.7% in October, and all the source markets saw a decline; the provisional estimate of total retail sales in October fell 24.3% year-on-year, breaking the historical record; the total income of Hong Kong Restaurants in the third quarter fell 13.6% year-on-year, the worst since the outbreak of SARS in the second quarter of 2003
In the cold economic winter, it is not just Mr. Wen who has no bottom in his heart. The reporter visited the area of Causeway Bay and found that the restaurant business was also not as good as before. A popular hot pot store near times square used to be full of people, but since the violence, half of the guests at night have been lost, and the most serious time they directly close.
There were a lot of tourists before, some of them came directly in pajamas at night. Now, with the decrease of tourists, our turnover rate has also declined a lot. Said the clerk of the hot pot shop.
Huang Jiahe, chairman of the Hong Kong food and Beverage Association, quoted data as saying that there are 400 restaurants in Hong Kong that have completed their business at present, the violence has not subsided, and the business of the catering industry will further decline in December. He said that in the following new years day and Spring Festival, according to the previous years level, the local catering industry should have increased by 10% to 15%, but it is not expected to be optimistic this year.
The previously announced unemployment rate in the catering industry in October was 6.1%, almost 20000 people were unemployed, but I estimate that the unemployment rate is close to 7%, that is, 22000 people are unemployed. If many small and medium-sized enterprises cant survive, Huang said, Im afraid there are more than one thousand restaurants that have completed their business after the Spring Festival.
At the end of November every year, Hong Kong enters the discount season, attracting many consumers, especially mainland tourists, to come to Hong Kong for shopping. Take Chongguang department store in Causeway Bay as an example. This year, there is no rush to buy last year. There are no long lines outside the store. There are plenty of cosmetics in the store, and gift boxes are full of counters.
Causeway Bay is a major riot area. At the end of November, Chongguang department store welcomes the annual store celebration promotion, but less than half of the time can be successfully opened. We purposely postponed it to the beginning of December, but few people came. Chongguang department store a makeup brand guide told reporters.
Cosmetics are just a microcosm of Hong Kongs local retail industry. Since the beginning of this year, total retail sales in Hong Kong have been down for nine months on a year-on-year basis due to uncertain external economic environment and frequent local violence. Xie Qiu Anyi, chairman of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association, predicted that the total retail sales would decline by double digits in the whole year and continue to decline next year. As for when to stop the decline, it depends on when the society calms down the violence and when the consumer intention picks up.
More than 90% of Hong Kongs industries are service industries, which are closely linked, said Yao Sirong, a tourism councillor in the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR. If the situation of anti violence and anti chaos does not improve, it will affect the income of Hong Kong practitioners in various industries. With less business in the service industry and fewer employees, some redundant jobs will be cut. The recent rise in unemployment from 2.9% to 3.1% is expected to be more severe in the future. Yao said.