Chief Executive CY Leung has called on the tourism industry and the public to work together to rebuild Hong Kong’s hospitable image.
Attending his 2016 Policy Address question and answer session in the Legislative Council today, Mr Leung said the tourism industry is important because it offers many job opportunities. However, tourism development should not just focus on the number of tourists, because having too many visitors affects daily life for residents.
He noted that the industry is facing many difficulties, including the strong Hong Kong dollar exchange rate lowering the city’s competitiveness and the economic slowdown affecting the shopping desire of Mainland tourists.
Protests targeting visitors in recent years made tourists feel they were not welcome, he said, adding that “forced shopping” also ruins Hong Kong's hospitable image.
On strengthening regulation of the tourism industry, the Travel Industry Council recently issued new guidelines, and Mr Leung urged the sector to abide by the rules.
Responding to a question on how the industry can seize opportunities from the Belt & Road initiative, Mr Leung said the Government can inject money for the Tourism Board to launch promotions in certain countries along the Belt-Road.