May 08, 2007

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Vini, Vici, Visa

While Hong Kong's press was whipping up a frenzy of worry about the disaster that was to be golden week, the Mainlanders who weren't coming or who were coming but weren't going to shop actually went and spent their backsides off.

Labor Day Golden Week proved to be a roaring success with 505,170 mainlanders pouring into Hong Kong between April 28 and May 7, according to figures supplied by the Immigration Department on Monday.

This was a massive 21 percent jump on the 415,446 who visited Hong Kong last year over the same period, and came despite the bad publicity the city has been getting in the mainland media, including reports of shoppers being ripped off by unscrupulous traders.

But the biggest surprise of the Golden Week bonanza was the fact the Tourism Board received only 13 complaints from April 28 to May 6, an average of one complaint for every 40,000 visitors.

According to a Tourism Board spokesman, these were mainly about the services provided by hotels or rude staff. There were no complaints concerning shopping.

One of two things has happened: all the media focus has forced the tourism and retail trade to clean up their act, or it was all a beat up over a couple of isolated incidents. Actually, there's a third, more sinister theory...perhaps the tourism trade got a few ideas from those Falun Gong displays at the various tourist spots around town.

posted by Simon on 05.08.07 at 09:34 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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sounds like the tourism sector has the wrong idea about how to earn money. of course, they'll take credit for this rise in spending.

the tourism sector would do well, in my opinion, to stop supporting the tourism cartel and open up the market for more choice, better options and self will. though, the last one is more of a philosophical problem, not inherent to the tourism industry.

posted by: doug on 05.08.07 at 12:35 PM [permalink]

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