Monday, 16 September 2013

Tourism Folly

Leung wants Hong Kong to do an even better job catering to mainland tourists
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying thinks the city should be doing more to capitalize on mainland tourism.

He said this after meeting Guangdong Governor Zhu  Xiaodan during a conference on cross-border cooperation in Hong Kong.

"As we recognize the contribution made by tourism to Hong Kong's economy, we should actively study how to expand our capacity so that the pressure brought about by tourists can be reduced in some districts," Leung observed.

Because of the negative aspects of mainland tourism in Hong Kong, the central government did not expand the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) that started 10 years ago and according to the Tourism Board, over 100 million have come to the city.

Some are calling for a cap on the number of mainland visitors to Hong Kong, which has resulted in rents rising and closed many local businesses.

Is the mainland tourism market the only thing Leung can think of to boost Hong Kong's economy? That's what his predecessor Donald Tsang Yam-kuen thought and now we have the current situation.

The city has already done a lot to cater to the mainland market. Practically everyone in retail speaks Putonghua now, all the hotels, particularly the five-star ones are filled with mainland tourists, and they are eating up all the shark fin and abalone here.

They are buying up luxury goods and electronic gadgets and occupying Disneyland and Ocean Park. What more is there to do or buy in Hong Kong?

Some districts are busier than others because they are easier for mainlanders to get to... how difficult is that to figure out? They aren't going to go all the way to Sheung Wan to buy milk powder when they can get it in Sheung Shui.

But more importantly, why does the government think we need to further depend on the mainland tourism market?

We should be focusing more on innovation and creating or developing industries here than catering to people many despise...


  1. I agree about the focus on innovation and creating/developing has been tried over the years (ie Cyberport and Sha Tin) but due to the real estate tycoons (ie Lee Sau Kee, Li Ka-Shing) and the incompetent/cowardly CEs we have and the lack of IP protection in the mainland (leading to Shanzhi/Copycat/A-products) discouraged innovation/technical industries from taking hold in Hong Kong.

    We need to have HK gov't truly independent from the mainland, even if we have to die to do so. Things will get worse (and fast) if we proceed at the current course in Hong Kong.

    1. Hi nulle

      Yeah we have to keep real estate tycoons out of this! We should be nurturing more small innovative businesses... but rents are too high...

  2. actually reasonable rents in HK AND IP-protection in China. Plus independent judicuary is the only way HK will improve.

    HK's economy becoming more homogenous everyday and will someday look like Macau who are heavily dependent on gambling and tourism..

    1. Hi nulle

      Well Hong Kong is already quite homogenous... and it's full of stores I couldn't afford to walk into, making us feel like second-class citizens in our own city...