With every day that passes in Hong Kong, the impact of protests on the city’s retail and service sectors are being more and more keenly felt.
Wong Ka-wo,the president of Hong Kong’s federation of restaurants and related trades, said the damage to the catering industry has been significant.
“I estimate the whole industry in Central area has lost about 10 million HKD [$1.3 million] per day. Before the Occupy Central, we used to make 30 million HKD [$3.9 million] per day. So about one third of the business has gone. Among the three areas in Mongkok, Causeway Bay and Central, we lost about 50 million HKD [$6.4 million] each day,” Wong said.
The situation has been especially tough for smaller restaurants that are unable to pay rents and salaries. Hotels have also been hard hit. October is typically peak season, with many travelers coming to the city for trade fairs and exhibitions. But this year, numbers are down.
“In previous years, occupancy rates at many high-end hotels could reach over 90 percent in October. However, this month it’s slumped to 70-80 percent, as some travelers have decided to cut short or even cancel their trips due to safety concerns. We hope the protests will end by November, otherwise the hotel industry will continue to suffer during Christmas and Chinese Spring Festival,” Legislative Council member Yiu Si-wing said.