Some mainland visitors arriving in Hong Kong on Sunday said they wanted to experience the city's local culture, and a tourism representative said the change in tourists' tastes was evident.
Hordes of visitors took high-speed trains to West Kowloon station on National Day, but instead of flocking to the usual shopping districts, many said they were just taking a leisurely holiday and had no planned itinerary.
A traveller with his family told RTHK that they've been to Hong Kong many times and have done a lot of shopping in the past. He said they wanted to experience something different this time.
"We are going to Aberdeen and Po Toi Island. We have been to Hong Kong Disneyland twice and places like Central before... this time we want to see if Hong Kong could be a place for us to relax," he said.
Another visitor said she had no set itinerary and just wanted to casually wander around the city.
"I'll check out the restaurants and eat wherever I go... maybe take some photos at the University of Hong Kong and the Star Ferry Pier," she said.
Timothy Chui, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, said the number of inbound tours during the Golden Week holiday has returned to pre-Covid levels and the number of visitors is expected to reach the previous target of one million.
However, he said tour groups' itineraries have changed as visitors want to experience the local culture.
"Some tour groups will visit North Point Market and take the tram to explore the city. Now, many younger tourists will look at recommendations from influencers on social media when planning their holidays. They are looking for authentic cultural experiences, not just food and shopping," he said.
Chui said the government's Night Vibes campaign could revive the city's night-time atmosphere and attract tourists.