Hong Kong Government to extend subsidies to revive tourism

World Today

Hong Kong Government to extend subsidies to revive tourismAn outdoor television screen shows pedestrians cross a road outside Chungking Mansions in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong on October 19, 2019. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)

Tourism is one of the sectors suffering the most in Hong Kong. To help ease the economic impact, the government has announced $12,000,000 in subsidies to travel agencies. 

CGTN’s He Weiwei reports from Hong Kong.

The weather is still warm in Hong Kong, but tourism has entered winter.

Tourist numbers to HK began to drop since July, by about 5% year-over-year. In August, it plunged by nearly 40%. Figures for September and October are still unknown, but can hardly be positive as the protests have turned violent at times.

To help revive tourism, Hong Kong announced a new plan of cash subsidies.

“We’ll provide a maximum of HK$100 million in subsidies. We hope that can benefit travel agencies and tour guides directly, and help boost related industries such as hotels, airlines, retail and so on,” said Edward Yau Tang-wah, Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development.

Under the plan, each travel agency will be offered a cash incentive of HK$120 or US$15 per inbound tourist staying overnight, and HK$100 per outbound tourist. The subsidy ceiling of each travel agency is HK$60,000.

The plan is expected to start in November and run until March next year.

The subsidies are given to travel agencies rather than tourists, so some are wondering how this plan can encourage more tourists to visit Hong Kong.

Local tour guides have different opinions.

Many agree that the key to reviving Hong Kong’s tourism is not more money, but the restoration of peace and order as soon as possible.