HK lacks distinct tourist attractions: survey

The Peak in Hong Kong.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Despite its fame as one of the world's leading destinations for the culinary arts and shopping, many locals feel that Hong Kong lacks in distinct tourist attractions such as night markets and souvenirs, according to a survey conducted by a Hong Kong-based trade association.

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU) found that of the 500 individuals interviewed, seven out of nine remarked that culinary arts remain Hong Kong's greatest tourist attraction, while over half pointed to Hong Kong's numerous theme parks and name-brand shops as the biggest draws.

However, over 70 per cent of survey takers stated that Hong Kong lacks specialty attractions such as night markets, as well as variety in souvenirs. In addition, survey participants stated that Hong Kong's nightlife lacks a singular symbolic image, which may be detrimental to nighttime revel seekers visiting the area.

The HKFTU is concerned that despite the lustre of Hong Kong's tourism industry, statistics indicate that the overnight-stay rate for visitors from mainland China is on the decline. In addition, the trade association stated that Hong Kong's tourism industry may be in danger of being eclipsed by the bustling growth observed in the same sector in neighbouring Singapore.

In contrast, Taiwan as a tourist attraction is best known by its vibrant night markets, eateries, in addition to a wide variety of souvenir products imbued with Taiwanese culture, ranging from tea, pastries to other products themed with the Palace Museum.

Based on its findings, the HKFTU urged governing bodies to collaborate with local businesses to establish night markets and souvenir markets for tourists, in an effort to attract more visitors who stay overnight. The trade association hopes to stimulate the tourist industry by rebranding Hong Kong as a diverse destination.