Thursday, 22 November 2012

Beware the Mainland Invasion (Really?)

Beautiful skyline, but the city is invaded by mainland tourists
The 2013 edition of Lonely Planet Hong Kong doesn't just give travelers the latest updates on where to go sightseeing, eat and shop.

It also warns the visitors to be aware of the tensions between locals and mainlanders.

The guide says "The seemingly headlong rush for the Chinese tourist dollar, with the attendant proliferation of luxury stores in areas such as Causeway Bay and Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, has pushed up shop rentals across the board, fueling inflation and taking many small traders off Hong Kong's once accommodating streetscape."

It adds Western travelers will find the most striking aspect will be the influx of mainland visitors.

Hmmm -- we're wondering if the guide should have noted that a year ago at least.

In 2002, Hong Kong had 16.6 million visitors, of which 6.9 million or 41.6 percent were from China.

By last year, the figure soared to 41.9 million, or 67 percent were mainland tourists.

The guide adds that despite Hong Kong and the mainland becoming closer, locals were concerned abut the strain on public services.

Shall we add on basic commodities too like milk powder, Yakult, shampoo and toothpaste?

Wonder what the Hong Kong Tourism Board will do to try to calm the fears of Western visitors. Or is it too busy catering to the mainland market these days?

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