Will Hong Kong or Shenzhen win in golden holiday?

September 21, 2023 22:44
Shenzhen. HKEJ

Here is a million dollar question: how would the Night Vibes Hong Kong attract mainland tourists in the upcoming golden holidays?

Local response to the government’s campaign to revitalize the city’s nightlife by encouraging people to stay out and spend their cash has been lukewarm. Unfortunately the campaign was labelled as a lack of focus nor creativity.

Yes, the firework will be back after three years. Some shopping malls would extend hours for Cinderellas. Three promenades are expected to entice crowd with cultural performances. Even the meagre MTR Corp are offering one-for-five ticket discounts.

Ask Fanny Yeung Shuk-fan, she is not so excited.

The Travel Industry Council's executive director believes it might not be very attractive to mainland tourists, whom she expected one million would arrive seven-day between the Mid-Autumn Festival (September 29) and October 6 for golden holidays.

Why? Simply mainlanders have more exciting activities in their home countries. (And may I add, Taipei, where I have a quick tour, has a more vibrant night scene at Ximendeng).

The travel model has been changed among mainlanders as more people opted for individual travel, especially cross-provincial travel to places like Xinjiang. Even if they chose to go overseas, they could go to 70 other countries or regions.

So why Hong Kong?

Some commentators noted Hong Kong campaign to tourists were fared worse than that of Shenzhen, where it announced 21 new policies and highlighted 10 shopping areas specific to attract Hong Kong and Macau tourists after the Night Vibes Hong Kong.

Specifically Shenzhen government gave away free tourists pamphlets in the five cross-border points with hand-written comics and hotspots for Instagram.

That is also why more Hong Kong people have been crossing borders for consumption in Shenzhen and other neigbouring cities than mainlanders coming to Hong Kong.

Of course the cross-border economics would be more favourable for the northbound than the southbound, given the unusual weak renminbi amid the strong US dollar era.

That is why Hong Kong, which tied to US dollars, can still find pleasure in overseas travel despite the depressed macro-economics environment.

More people shall be crossing borders next week, but the verdict is still out there as to who would win the game.

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EJ Insight writer