Survey Findings on Views about the Individual Visit Scheme Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
A telephone survey was conducted from 15 to 21 February 2019 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to gauge public views about the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS). 709 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 37.5%. The sampling error is + or –3.68% at a confidence level of 95%.
Major findings are summarised as follows
Although the number of tourists from the mainland grew successively in the recent years and reached a record high of 51 million in 2018, the survey results found that 60.1% of the respondents agreed that Hong Kong has no more capacity to receive the existing volume of mainland visitors under IVS. Only 13.5% disagreed, and 21.7% said ‘in-between’. Slightly more than half of the respondents (52.6%) complained that in their living districts, visitors under IVS brought inconvenience to their daily lives, but 45.7% reported that they did not experience any inconvenience.
However, attitudes of the respondents towards IVS seemed to be conflicting. While many respondents worried that Hong Kong has no more capacity to accommodate more visitors, 59.1% agreed that IVS could boost local consumption. Only 13.1% disagreed, and 26.2% said ‘in-between’. The proportion of respondents who believed that IVS could help promote employment was also comparatively higher: 42.3% thought so, only 20.5% answered the opposite, and 34.3% said ‘in-between’. When the respondents were asked about the impacts of IVS on Hong Kong, the proportion of those who believed it as beneficial (33.0%), detrimental (32.4%) or mixed (29.2%) were all closed to one-third.
The survey results also showed that 45.1% of the respondents said their impression of the tourists from the mainland had not changed since the implementation of IVS, 35.4% claimed that it became worse and 17.8% said that it was better. Also, 45.4% of the respondents preferred no change in the scope of IVS, and 43.3% wanted to reduce it. Only 8.1% opted for an expansion. A follow-up question was posed to those who expected to reduce the scope about whether they would still want a reduction should negative impacts on retail, tourism, and related sectors be resulted. Of them, 87.3% did not change their original position and still hoped to see a reduction of IVS.