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The lure of a new Disneyland in Hong Kong has brought its tourism industry a disappointing "Golden Week" holiday as mainland visitors save their cash for when the US theme park opens in September.

While Chinese tourists have provided a big boost to Hong Kong's economy in recent years, the tourism and retail sectors depend for much of their business on the holiday periods around May Day, the lunar new year and National Day when most Chinese travel.

In the first six days of the present Golden Week break - China's week-long May Day celebrations - the number of mainland visitors grew 6.7 per cent compared with last year, to 294,883, according to Hong Kong government figures. This is a substantially lower rise than during Chinese new year in February when visitor numbers rose 14 per cent.