Youth I.D.E.A.S. 13

Employment and Economic Development

Diversifying Hong Kong’s Attractions to Boost Tourism

30 August, 2016

 

 

Tourism is one of the four key industries in Hong Kong.  In 2014 it generated value added of HK$112.5 billion, which equates to 5.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP),[1] and employed 270,000 workers.  It is a significant driving force of Hong Kong’s economic growth.

 

The number of visitors to Hong Kong has seen double-digit growth since 2010.  However, there was a decrease of 2.5%, to 59.31 million arrivals, in 2015, and visitor numbers dropped further in the first half of 2016, by 7.4%.  Mainland visitor arrivals have dropped by 10.6% while non-Mainland visitor arrivals have increased by 4.1%.[2]

 

Most visitors to Hong Kong come from the Mainland.  Though they have a key status in the Hong Kong tourism industry, Mainland visitors may also be a risk factor. In recent months, Mainland visitor arrivals via both the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) and group tours have decreased.  But the number of visits they make to other popular overseas destinations has accelerated,[3] implying that Mainland Chinese are losing interest in Hong Kong.  The number of Mainland visitors buying luxury products is also decreasing.  The profile of visitors to Hong Kong and their consumption pattern have changed.

 

In view of the above, this Study aims to give recommendations on strategy and measures to boost tourism by analysing change in the pattern of inbound tourism and visitors’ expectations.  It is hoped that visitors’ consumption will bring about better economic benefits and diversified development opportunities for young people in Hong Kong.

 

This Study used a survey to understand visitors’ expectations.  In addition, in order to understand the change in the pattern of inbound tourism, stakeholders including experts, scholars and young employees in the tourism industry were interviewed.

 

Based on the findings of this Study, Youth I.D.E.A.S. puts forward six recommendations which focus on diversifying Hong Kong’s attractions.

 

Discussion

  1. The structure of visitors has changed significantly. The key to boosting tourism is to widen the source of visitors.
  2. The consumption pattern of visitors has changed significantly. Diversified tourism products and services are needed to attract visitors.
  3. Hong Kong has the potential to develop featured and diversified travel.  But it needs to explore new ideas and to strengthen the supporting measures.
  4. Promoting humanized and personalized travel experience by making better use of information technology and youth creativity.
  5. Enhancing the hospitable culture of Hong Kongers in order to maintain the competitiveness of the Hong Kong tourism industry.

 

Recommendation

  1. Set up a “Native Expert” accreditation system.  People who have professional knowledge of designated communities and specific areas are allowed to provide part-time travel guide services to explain community features and promote the diversified development of the Hong Kong tourism industry.
  2. Promote “Local Voyages” on new travel routes through cross-industrial collaboration.  The Hong Kong Tourism Board can coordinate and invite ideas for featured attractions from local communities and then formulate new travel routes, which can be promoted to independent travellers.
  3. The government should devise an overall strategy on the opening of historical buildings in order to enhance their visitation and appreciation.
  4. Promote cycling tours.  The government should further promote cycling routes so that visitors can visit local attractions while enjoying leisure time in Hong Kong.
  5. Invite friendly people to take part in the production of humanized and localized tourism promotion materials.  Promotion can be effected via social media.
  6. The visa-free arrangement enabling foreign visitors to go to the Pearl River Delta region should be extended to cover independent travellers.

 

 

 

 


[1] Source: Census and Statistics Department. (Mar, 2016). The four key industries and other selected industries in the Hong Kong economy. In Hong Kong monthly digest of statistics (pp. FB1-FB12). HK: C&SD.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Source: Legislative Council Secretariat. (Aug, 2015). Hong Kong’s tourism industry. Research Brief, 2014-2015, 6.