Hong Kong Urges Residents to "Smile More" Following Tourist Complaints

The Paper Break Jun 01, 2024
Hong Kong Urges Residents to "Smile More" Following Tourist Complaints

Hong Kong is launching a hospitality campaign this June to attract tourists.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Hong Kong's tourism minister, Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, is urging people across all sectors to be more courteous. He acknowledged that while most service sector employees in Hong Kong are polite, there have been instances of poor service.

Yeung hopes this campaign will encourage locals to "smile a little bit more" and "take the initiative to help tourists," aiming to make this friendly attitude a part of daily life and make tourists feel at home.

The city-wide campaign will involve schools, businesses, and transportation services. Yeung mentioned that several complaints have been received regarding the service of Cathay Pacific, the city's airline, and that the government will coordinate with these departments to ensure the campaign's success.

"I believe Cathay is seeking to enhance its service and understands that the public has high expectations. We hope that as a flag carrier representing Hong Kong, it can demonstrate to the world the high quality of the city's airlines," he added.

Pang Yiu-kai, chairperson of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, revealed that last year's top tourist complaints included unfriendly taxi drivers, wait staff, and retailers, as well as poor WiFi and expensive accommodation. "A smile is free, why not give it away? The more you smile, the greater the chance tourists will give tips and so, more income," he said, according to SCMP.

On the positive side, tourists praised Hong Kong's convenient public transport system, efficient immigration procedures, and sightseeing options.

Last year, Hong Kong welcomed an estimated 65.1 million travelers. With the city set to host 210 mega events by year-end, it anticipates at least 1.7 million tourists attending these events. This influx is expected to boost the tourism economy significantly, with projected spending of HKD 7.2 billion (RM 10.8 billion), contributing an additional HKD 4.3 billion (RM 6.45 billion) to the economy.


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