Will Hong Kong manage the Tourist overload?

February 08, 2014
Hong Kong Tourist - Visareporter News
The Hong Kong Tourism Commission has confessed that hundred million people will be visiting the city every year by 2023 which is almost twice the current amount.

In January, Gregory So Kam-leung, the Secretary for Economic and Commerce Development, produced the Commission report of Tourism which said that Hong Kong should support itself for an acute increase in the tourist strength yearly. It is predicted that 70 million visitors will visit the city every year by 2017, and the number will be increased to 100 million every year by 2023.

This enormous increase in the tourist number has upset many people of Hong Kong. There is public talk going on in groups since the report was released. Roy Tam Ho-pong of ‘Population Policy Concern Group’ is very upset about this forecast. He says that the government is little bothered about the situation. The transportation and the shopping malls are at its maximum capacity. He exclaims ‘If 70 million visitors visit the city, it is almost ten times of the population! There should a limit to the number’.

3/4th of the visitors who visited Hong Kong last year, were from Mainland. The visitor strength is up by 17% contrast to 2012. Among the Chinese visitors, 58% of them do not stay in the city during the nights. On the same day they go back to Mainland. The major problems are caused by this category of the visitors.

Bob McKercher, Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, says that visitors who stay overnight are generally tourist visitors who can be managed easily. On the other side there are tourists for the day who shop, dine and go back. Most of them come from province of Guangdong. They are the cause of the problem. 
Hong Kong has grown popular for a day visit to the people especially from South China. The numbers of day visitors have risen from 4.5 million in 2004 to 23.7 million last year. Energized by the fact that the products available in Mainland are suspicious, most of the people are here to shop. The day visitors, occupying the shopping malls in Fanling and Sheung Shui are the cause of the resentment now.

However not all have the same view. Sam Ng, a Hongkonger says that she owns a jewellary shop in the busy shopping area and makes great business. Mainland tourists, on an average, spend 6,000 dollars per day .The income made from the day trippers in 2012 is 50 Billion dollars.

CY Leung, Chief Executive affirmed that certain cities would be deprived to apply for IVS for a brief period of time. But the promise made seems to be too late as the shops in the city which were initially intended to meet the needs of the local people are now changed to jewellery and gold shops, milk powder sales by the pharmacists, shops that sell cosmetics and digital cameras to meet the needs of the day trip visitors and tourists.

MTR lines are the busiest rail lines in the city. MTR lines have launched 1,300 extra train trips per week keeping in view the rise in the tourist visitors. New rail lines are also being built.

Experts have given an idea of building a shopping complex at the border. However one of the officials is suspicious of the idea and feels, how far they can be successful in stopping the visitors to enter the city and questions will the visitors listen to their guidelines.

But for now there seems to be no answer for the various questions posed on tourist attack on the city especially from China. McKercher justifies that change is something that creates difficulty and says that as the days go on, the city will be used to the visitors and be modest in their behavior to keep away the tourists. 

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