Date
16 December 2017
Visitors to Hong Kong should explore places such as Lamma Island and Sai Kung, rather than stick to the usual tourist spots, People's Daily has said. Photos: http://www.discoverhongkong.com, Trey Ratcliff/Flickr, HKEJ
Visitors to Hong Kong should explore places such as Lamma Island and Sai Kung, rather than stick to the usual tourist spots, People's Daily has said. Photos: http://www.discoverhongkong.com, Trey Ratcliff/Flickr, HKEJ

People’s Daily urges tourists to go beyond the usual in HK

Sai Kung and Lamma Island are some of the more exotic places to visit in Hong Kong for a better and “in-depth” travel experience in the city, a leading Chinese state newspaper advised its readers.

In an article published on Tuesday, the overseas edition of People’s Daily urged mainlanders who travel to Hong Kong under the individual visitor scheme to look beyond the usual tourist attractions and hotspots. 

Travelers should go to areas such as Sai Kung and Lamma Island and explore a new dimension in Hong Kong, other than just shopping, the article said, according to Metro Daily Hong Kong.

The article argued that Hong Kong should not only cement its advantages as a shopping hub, having attracted as many as 27 million mainland travelers last year under the individual travel scheme, it should also look into new genres of specialty travel.

Sai Kung is a good example of a more exotic travel spot, People’s Daily said, complimenting the coastal district for its famous seafood, beautiful mountains and well preserved greeneries. It also noted that there are up to 70 outlying islands nearby.

Hong Kong remains the favorite place for mainland tourists, the article says. If people from Hong Kong and mainland work together, they can tackle unpleasant issues and sentiments, it added.

While travel industry professionals welcomed the idea of promoting new areas for mainland tourists, some observers however feel it could be a bad idea. 

Metro Daily quoted legislator Gary Fan as saying that if mainlanders flock to new areas, Hong Kong’s “backyard” could be wrecked.

Fan is worried that increased tourists could lead to more garbage problems and that the environment could be under threat.

There are also concerns among the public that locals may not be able to enjoy the leisure and cultural facilities if mainlanders take over the swimming pools, football pitches and barbecue pits in Hong Kong.

Still, Travel Industry Council Chairman Michael Wu supports the idea of channeling some of the mainland tourists to places like Sai Kung and Lamma Island. He noted that visitors may have already got tired of the usual spots such as the Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Wu believes there is potential to promote leisure travel in Hong Kong. But the government needs to address some issues first, he said, citing traffic jams in Sai Kung during holidays as an example.

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