If this catches on, Hong Kong hoteliers may face a further decline in their occupancy rates, which they say are sinking because fewer mainlanders are visiting the city.
It turns out that, in fact, more mainland tourists came to Hong Kong during the Golden Week holidays at the beginning of this month than arrived during the same period last year.
But some, apparently, have found ways to save money by not sleeping in hotels.
Two women were captured in a photo posted on Facebook sleeping on the floor in front of an ATM at a 24-hour automated self-service banking nook on San Fung Avenue in Sheung Shui, am730 reported.
A user of the social media platform surnamed Wong said he took the photo at about 4 a.m. Sunday as he approached the Wing Lung Bank ATM, planning to withdraw money from it.
In the photo, the duo, apparently tourists, are seen sleeping quite cozily on newspapers spread on the floor, their shoes off but clothes and jewelry on. Their luggage was right beside them.
Wong told Ming Pao Daily he ended up leaving without taking cash from the ATM, because he was afraid he might step on the sleeping women while trying to do so.
He said he suspected the women were from the mainland.
Wong said he felt helpless and angry about what he saw.
His photo went viral and attracted many sarcastic comments.
Some netizens said an ATM corner is really a good place to stay overnight, since it has 24-hour air conditioning and security cameras.
In a reply to a query from Ming Pao, a spokesman for Wing Lung Bank said its employees were following up on the case.
He said the bank will increase the frequency of on-site inspections to prevent similar incidents from happening.
No one managed to talk to the two women, who have since moved on.
– Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org