Hong Kong’s a destination, not just a business city
Hong Kong isn’t just a thriving center for business, finance, and innovation. It’s increasingly a popular tourist destination.
In December last year, tourism increased by 3% and the city is expecting around 60 million tourists in 2018. For a population just over 7 million, that’s a lot of visitors. Compare the figures to London which, according to the Office for National Statistics, peaked back in 2014 at 17.4 million tourists (with a local population just shy of 8 million).
So who’s visiting Hong Kong, and what’s drawing them to this territory?
One of the biggest tourist markets is mainland China – particularly as the CNY (China Yuan Renminbi) rises and they’re looking for attractive ways to spend their yuan. The typical Chinese tourist will stay around 4 nights. Hong Kong’s also attracting visits from other Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea.
There’s increasing interest from international tourists outside of Asia, too. The city is a unique blend of tradition and modernity, East and West, tranquility and busy excitement. It’s also a transition point for many long haul flights, offering opportunities for extended stop-over visits.
The government is embracing this shift and aims to develop Hong Kong into a “world-class and first-choice tourism destination,” according to the Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. Their four-pronged strategy is focused on raising the quality of tourism services, targeting a diverse range of markets, giving the sector both local and international characteristics, and promoting “smart travelling.”
A big change has been a shift away from tourists seeing the city simply as a shopping trip. In turn this is creating new opportunities for local businesses, the tourism industry, and entrepreneurs.
The Old Town Central campaign is a great example of the shift, preserving and developing the culture of older streets and alleyways. The emphasis is on local food, art, and heritage. Similar plans are underway for other neighbourhoods, giving visitors a chance to immerse themselves and gain that “authentic” experience that appeals to many international tourists.
If you’re moving to Hong Kong for work opportunities, don’t forget to take advantage of the qualities that are making the territory such a destination.
Top things to do in Hong Kong
Some of our top things to do in Hong Kong that are making the territory an attractive destination are: