HONG KONG, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) said Friday that the provisional total number of visitor arrivals in Hong Kong was 3.57 million last year, a 93.6-percent drop from 2019.
Arrivals in January 2020 alone accounted for the majority of the annual total and the number of visitors then started to slump as Hong Kong limited entry to overseas visitors and introduced stringent quarantine measures to curb the COVID-19 spread, the HKTB said.
While most trips were made for essential reasons, the number of tourists fell to almost zero, the HKTB said.
"The tourism industry has been through an extremely tough year," HKTB chairman Pang Yiu-kai said.
In response to the immense challenges, the HKTB has renewed its strategies and approach, concentrating on improving the local atmosphere and maintaining Hong Kong's international exposure, Pang said.
Pang said such work will ensure that Hong Kong is ready to welcome visitors back when the COVID-19 situation is eased.