Declining Tourism in Hong Kong

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Dear Editor,

I refer to an article in the South China Morning Post about tourism in Hong Kong, saying that the number of tourists visiting the city has fallen.  There are a number of reasons for the declining figures and I would like to suggest ways in which Hong Kong can attract visitors back to the city.

Hong Kong’s air pollution is such a serious problem that it becomes travelers’ concern.  The main source comes from coal-fired power stations and vehicles.  This decreases the visibility and it may cause health problems.  Visitors are worried that the poor air quality will affect their health, so Hong Kong becomes less attractive.

Hong Kong becomes less competitive than the other Asian countries as it has limited tourist spots.  For example, there are two Disneylands in China now—one in Hong Kong and one in Shanghai.  The mainlanders have more choices.  Also, there is the Great Wall in Beijing, Lotte World in Korea, Mount Fuji in Japan and so on.  Visitors have many choices for travelling.

Recently, the rise in hostility of the localists has also scared away the tourist.  Many Hong Kong people are dissatisfied with the coming of mainland visitors.  They complain that the residential areas are crowded with the mainlanders.  This makes the narrow streets become difficult to navigate and it also disrupts their lives.  The hostility makes Hong Kong less appealing to mainlanders.  According to the statistics, Hong Kong visitors mainly come from the mainland.  When the number of mainland visitors decreases, there is a sharp decline in the number of visitors to the city.

The above mentioned are just part of the problems our tourist industry is facing.  If these are getting worse, our economy will be greatly affected.  To remedy this situation, a number of measures should be carried out immediately.

First and foremost, there should be better promotion of Hong Kong tourism around the world.  Government officials should visit other countries to promote Hong Kong as a good tourist spot.  TV or online advertisements can also be one of the effective ways.  The Tourism Board should also develop eco-tourism and heritage torus to attract visitors.

The government should also improve the quality of services in Hong Kong.  For example, Hong Kong government can employ retired people to be tourist ambassadors to spread a sense of belonging to tourists.  The ambassadors can help them take photos and give them information free of charge.  Also, more free Wi-Fi areas should be developed to facilitate the free flow of tourist information.  Besides, complaint channels about shops and taxi-drivers should be open to all tourists to combat dishonest sales.

Another measure is that the Tourism Board should hold a round of events to promote Hong Kong’s unique culture.  As Hong Kong is described as a place where ‘East meets West’, this mixed culture should be widely promoted.  For example, street arts and Old Town Central can be some of the highlight attractions.  Moreover, more international sports events should be held, e.g. Hong Kong Sevens and marathons.  Hopefully, this can attract different tourists to come to Hong Kong.  Other measures include quickening the development of infra-structure e.g. highways, bridges, transport network, etc.

I hope that the government will carry out a series of measures to remedy the situation, so the number of visitors to the city will increase.

Yours faithfully

Au Sin Nga

Au Sin Nga