Date
15 December 2018
People line up near Tung Chung MTR station for a bus that will take them to a new cross-border sea bridge. Tung Chung residents have complained about congestion and other problems being created by a mainland visitor influx. Photo: CNSA
People line up near Tung Chung MTR station for a bus that will take them to a new cross-border sea bridge. Tung Chung residents have complained about congestion and other problems being created by a mainland visitor influx. Photo: CNSA

Will Chinese tourists in HK take the ‘secret hotspots’ bait?

Lingnan Garden, Tsz Shan Monastery, Cityplaza, Tamar headquarters. All these were on a list of secret hotspots that were circulated to Chinese netizens as recommendations for places to see in Hong Kong.

Dubbed the Hong Kong secret tours, the list in simplified Chinese showed the purported hidden attractions across the city, drawing considerable amount of social media buzz.

It didn’t take long for sharp-eyed netizens to conclude that this was a marketing gimmick and that the list may have been deliberately created — possibly by Hong Kong Tourism Board itself — to lure mainland tourists away from the crowded Tung Chung.

Since the inauguration of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau sea-crossing bridge in October, close to 100,000 mainland tourists have been travelling to Tung Chung by bus on weekends. The huge influx of tourists created problems for the residents in an area already in bad need of more restaurants.

So while the government is trying to offload some tourists into Hong Kong Disneyland and other places like Gold Coast in Tuen Mun by relaxing rules for tour bus parking, authorities also seem to have looked at other solutions to disperse the visitors into different districts and away from Tung Chung.

Now, as for the secret hotspots, it not too difficult to deduce the logic that led to the choices. 

Take Tamar headquarters, for example. What better location for tourists who wish to have the best view of Victoria Harbour than from the area in front of the government buildings complex?

As for Lingnan Garden in Mei Foo and Tsz Shan Monastery in Tai Po, well, they have ample space for more tourists.

Forget Times Square, Harbour City and Elements mall. Try Cityplaza and other shopping malls that have the capacity to cater — this seems to be the message to tourists.

Rounding off the list was Barker Road, the Peak, Lung Yeuk Tai Heritage Trail and all other trails that are good for autumn hiking.

Some places on the list are too remote for visitors to call on them during one-day travel, so one wonders if it was wise on the part of whoever was behind the exercise to include such locations.

If the tour bus hordes are to stay over for more than a day, just imagine the complaints that would come from the locals.

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 RC

EJ Insight writer

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