Will Hong Kong's luxury district get pinched by protests?

Protests spread to Hong Kong's luxury district
Protests spread to Hong Kong's luxury district

Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution could take a toll on Chinese luxury spending.

Peaceful pro-democracy protests are taking place throughout Hong Kong, including in the government and financial districts and on Canton Road, a popular luxury shopping district.

The Occupy Central movement coincides with China's celebration of Golden Week, a national holiday that typically brings thousands of mainland tourists to Hong Kong. Last year, 1.2 million tourists flocked to the region during the holiday, according to the BBC.

Golden Week brings a lot of travel and spending with restaurants and retailers experiencing a big boon, explained David Dollar, senior fellow at the China Center at the Brookings Institution. This year's demonstrations will have a short-term effect on the economy, he said. "Think of it like a bad-weather event. There will be less shoppers and spending, but when it's over it will bounce back. The people who can afford to come to shop in Hong Kong are able to do it another time."

Related: Hong Kong protesters are so freaking nice

One tourist told CNN International's Kristie Lu Stout that, "it's OK to demonstrate, but you should be considerate of the general public." Another worried that "this will make people feel that Hong Kong is inconvenient."

CNN's Lu Stout reports that while activists are present on Canton Road, which is home to luxury heavyweights, Fendi, Burberry, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, they aren't blocking access to the stores.

Chinese tourism is a major component to Hong Kong's economy and Chinese consumer spending accounted for one-third of total retail sales in the region last year, said Ling-Wei Chung, principal economist at IHS. "Chinese tourists spend a lot of time and money in Hong Kong—especially on luxury goods, including jewelry and watches, accounting for one-fifth of total sales. If the tourists aren't spending on luxury items, that could hurt Hong Kong's economy"

Related: Why I'm protesting in Hong Kong

The demonstrations gave one visitor to Hong Kong pause, reports CNN Correspondent Will Ripley: "I'm afraid if we go in, we won't be able to get out again because the traffic is so jammed up."

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