The Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament has been identified as the single biggest contributor of overseas visitors to the region.
The annual tournament, taking place this year between 22nd and 24th March, draws rugby fans from all over the world, but the true impact it has on Hong Kong’s economy is only just being discovered. Amadeus and ForwardKeys, specialists in providing and analysing data regarding the economic impact of global sporting events, has released data regarding Hong Kong flight trends, highlighting the fact that long-haul flights to the city are at their busiest around the time of the popular tournament. International sporting events have long been coveted for their supposed economic impact, although the actual affect that an event of this nature has on the economy of a city, a region or a country, is hard to define. However, as the data for Hong Kong suggests, it is hard to deny that major international sporting events do bring a huge influx of foreign visitors to an area, with their arrival bringing plenty of economic opportunities for host cities and nations. The Hong Kong Sevens is particularly popular with visitors from Europe, which accounts for 43 per cent of international long-haul arrivals during the event. Generally however, the USA provides the largest proportion of overseas visitors to Hong Kong, with the UK and Australia just behind in second and third place. Russia, Italy and the South American region have shown significant increases in visitor numbers recently however, indicating that Hong Kong’s appeal is spreading wider than ever. Image sources: 12