Hong Kong’s tourism industry significantly contributes to its growing economy, with around 60 million tourist arrivals every year.
According to the Hong Kong government website www.gov.hk, the industry recorded 59.3 million tourists in 2015 and employs at least 271,800 people.
The HK Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), now under China, aims to establish and promote Hong Kong as Asia’s premier international city and a world-class destination for leisure and business. Based on United Nations World Tourism Organization’s 2015 records, Hong Kong ranks No. 3 among the favorite destinations in the Asia Pacific region.
Meanwhile, the Euromonitor International listed Hong Kong as Top 1 among the top 10 most visited cities in the world. The other cities are London, Singapore, Bangkok, Paris, Macau, Dubai, Shenzhen, New York City, and Istanbul.
As early as 1999, the HKSAR established the Tourism Strategy Group which comprises representatives from the government, Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), and private stakeholders from the tourism industry. The group helped design the HK redevelopment master plan that included new policies and infrastructure support for the city-state’s tourism.
Aside from the extremely efficient, busy but clean and well-designed Hong Kong International Airport in the island of Chek Lap Kok, the city-state has a modern and fast Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system with a network of nine subway lines. It also has one airport express line, one light rail system with 12 routes and one tourist cable car system Ngong Ping 360.
At present, HKSAR and the mainland China government are also building the
Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge. The project will consist of a series of bridges and tunnels crossing the Lingdingyang channel that will connect Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities on the Pearl River Delta in China.
The bridge is about 50 kilometers with an estimated cost of US$10.6 billion.
According to the HK government, the bridge will accelerate the development in the Pearl River Delta, also known as Zhujiang Delta or Zhusanjiao. The Pearl River Delta is an economic hub of China covering several territories near the South China Sea.
Hong Kong most-popular destinations
In line with its vision of making Hong Kong as Asia’s prime international city and a world-class destination for leisure and business, the city-state introduced new attractions such as Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, The Peak Tower and The Peak Tram, Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping 360 and the Giant Buddha, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail, Tai O Fishing Village and the main venues for MICE events such as the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) near the airport, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and the Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon Bay.
Ocean Park is a world-class marine-themed park with 80 attractions and currently develops an all-weather waterpark, the Tai Shue Wan. This is expected to be completed by 2018 while construction works already started for the HK Ocean Park Marriot Hotel.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL), now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is featuring a new show titled Mickey and the Wondrous Book and a night show, Disney in the Stars.
This Christmas, Goofy will put on his Santa costume to help spread the season’s best wishes. Disneyland will also feature a tree-lighting ceremony with an 18-meter LED-wrapped Christmas tree while over 100 assortments of Christmas-themed merchandise will be available at the park every night during the holiday treat from November 17 to January 2.
The Ngong Ping 360, on the other hand, has a 5.7 km cableway ride lasting about 25 minutes and a Buddhist-themed village. The crystal cabin cable car ride offers a spectacular panoramic view of the beautiful landscape of Lantau Island.
In Lantau Island, the serene and interesting life of the locals can be discovered at the Tai O fish village.
Hong Kong offers more attractions including its art festivals, cultural events and diverse food stops. Tourists coming from the Philippines are other South-East Asian countries can reach Hong Kong via Cebu Pacific Air. Cebu Pacific has daily flights from Clark-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-Clark.