Tourism

Hong Kong: how tourism has modified since returning to China | DV Journey | DV

Many Hong Kong residents nowadays might not need to rejoice the twenty fifth anniversary of the town’s return to Chinese language rule in any respect. On the one hand, that is because of the rising efforts of the Chinese language authorities over time to increase its affect in Hong Kong and suppress the democratic motion. Alternatively, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the town exhausting and virtually paralyzed one of many pillars of the economic system – tourism.

The devastating results of a zero COVID coverage

“Till 2019, Hong Kong was one of the visited cities on the planet,” says Wolfgang Eimann of the German Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, because of the strict journey restrictions because of the pandemic, a few of that are nonetheless in place, the sector has fully collapsed. For the entire of 2021, the official variety of guests was solely 91,000, based on Ehmann. This compares to almost 56 million in 2019. “This exhibits how devastating the affect of the zero unfold COVID coverage has been and continues to be on tourism in Hong Kong.”

People wearing masks walk the streets of Hong Kong

Hong Kong continues to implement strict COVID-19 rules, comparable to requiring face masks to be worn in public areas.

On the streets, a lot of closed shutters and closed retailers and eating places in malls are proof of how badly the economic system has been hit by a scarcity of holiday makers. In line with official figures, tourism makes up about 5 % of the town’s gross home product. Greater than 300 resorts function on this sector and about 260,000 persons are immediately employed on this sector.

Most vacationers come from mainland China.

The tourism trade has modified lots in latest a long time. “Purchasing tourism is essential in Hong Kong as we speak,” says Jianli Chen, proprietor of China Hansa Journey, a Hamburg-based journey firm that organizes journeys to his house nation. “Chinese language vacationers from the mainland now play a a lot bigger function than worldwide tourism.” Official knowledge confirms this. For instance, in 2017, 76% of all guests got here from mainland China. Costly watches, fancy baggage, all types of branded merchandise are what rich mainland Chinese language are in search of in Hong Kong, Chen explains.

Two young Chinese women with shopping bags in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is fashionable amongst mainland Chinese language as a buying vacation spot.

The truth that such buying journeys — usually solely day journeys — are doable is a direct results of the return of metropolis energy to China. Starting in 2003, the Chinese language authorities started issuing visas permitting particular person journey to Hong Kong. Since then, practically 300 million Chinese language have used them. Hans-Wilm Schütte, a Chinese language scholar and writer of a number of China and Hong Kong journey guides, remembers a time when this was not doable. “The vacationers in Hong Kong was People, Japanese, generally a number of Europeans,” he says. “The truth that so many mainlanders are coming as we speak can be associated to [Hong Kong’s] switch to the Folks’s Republic of China.”

It was formally concluded on July 1, 1997…

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