Air ticket purchases to South Korea have increased by 85 per cent over the same period last year, and Thailand and Japan have registered increased bookings by 60 and 50 per cent respectively. For the Chinese, countries like Japan and Thailand are cultural destinations and the continued increase in interest likely signals a shift in Chinese travel preferences. On the other hand, the number of visitors to Hong Kong for the April-September period has plunged by 48 per cent. A GfK study on the destination image of the top five Asian countries among Chinese reported that the key draw of Hong Kong is shopping; and the decline in tourist numbers could mean that shopping is no longer a priority for mainlanders. Get the full story at TTG Asia