From March to May 2003, Hong Kong’s tourism industry underwent a severe downturn during the outbreak of SARS in the area, the 1,755 cases, caused in Hong Kong before July. There was virtually no inbound tourism between 2 April and 23 May, while the World Health Organization recommended, but to consider postponing the public all essential travel to Hong Kong. Then, in a dramatic twist, the industry received a significant boost in late July, when the residents of four nearby mainland Chines … Read more »

From March to May 2003, Hong Kong’s tourism industry underwent a severe downturn during the outbreak of SARS in the area, the 1,755 cases, caused in Hong Kong before July. There was virtually no inbound tourism between 2 April and 23 May, while the World Health Organization recommended, but to consider postponing the public all essential travel to Hong Kong. Then, in a dramatic twist, the industry received a significant boost in late July, when the residents of four nearby mainland Chinese cities were allowed to apply for Hong Kong on an individual basis as part of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement to visit. Previously mainland Chinese tourists could visit in Hong Kong with tour groups. In September, tourists from the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong could also visit on an individual basis. Mainland tourists began literally flood in total visitor arrival on a level that exceeded as a result of the education numbers even before SARS statistics. Longer travel facilities was expected in the first half of 2004. How was Hong Kong’s SMEs, clearly battered by the economic problems in recent years, which have been cut from the SARS attack on the new possibilities offered by the liberalization of the Mainland travel benefit?
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Michael J. Enright,
Vincent Mak
Source: University of Hong Kong
15 pages.
Publication Date: Jun 29, 2003. Prod #: HKU307-PDF-ENG
Mainland China and Hong Kong SMEs travel liberalization in late 2003 HBR case solution

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