Hong Kong still the place to go
In 2012, 48.6 million visitors visited Hong Kong, an increase of 16 per cent over 2011. The number of visitors to Hong Kong is expected to keep rising in the years to come.
When the tourism industry is robust, many different industries benefit, such as hospitality and aviation. These industries in turn create employment opportunities.
Shanghai Disneyland is set to open next year. The impact this opening will have on the tourism industry in Hong Kong will probably be minimal. Tourists come to Hong Kong for many different reasons, and visiting Disneyland may not be their main purpose. Besides, Hong Kong has many other attractions, such as its vibrant energy and impressive infrastructure.
The tourism industries in Hong Kong’s neighbouring regions have also been actively developing. These may pose a threat to the city and the industry should not ignore this competition.
Still, Hong Kong has its own advantages. For example, foreign tourists seldom come across a language barrier and tourism workers have lots of opportunities to enhance their language skills as they need to communicate daily.
Dr Sangeeta Narwani, senior programme director, HKU SPACE College of Business and Finance
As told to Chiu Po-sze