Numbers released by the Hong Kong government indicate the increasingly violent anti-government protests are hurting the region’s tourism industry.
According to The Associated Press, Hong Kong officials announced the region’s economy shrank 3.2 percent in July-September, which is considered a technical recession. The drop is the second consecutive quarter of decline following a 0.5 percent dip in April-June.
While October is a typically strong month for tourism in Hong Kong, visitor numbers fell by around 50 percent through the first half of the month and event organizers have been forced to cancel concerts, conferences and sports.
“The increasingly violent reality since June is hurting Hong Kong’s economy,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told The AP. “Retail, catering, transport and other tourism-related industries have borne the brunt.”
The Hong Kong protests started peacefully, but clashes between anti-government activists and police have become more violent, scaring away many of the Chinese tourists that typically fill the streets.
The protests have also impacted the airline industry, as flight arrivals and bookings to Hong Kong International Airport have plummeted, while the facility was even temporarily shut down by activists in August.
In addition, the clashes between police and activists have reduced service on subways, main roads and tunnels, as well as causing retail sales and private spending to fall.
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