Hong Kong is one of the most important tourism destinations in the Pacific Asia region for its unique landscape and shopping convenience. According to statistics, a total number of 41921310 people visited Hong Kong in 2011, that is 16.4% more compared to 2010 (Hong Kong Tourism Board 2012).Total tourism expenditure was 263142.71 million HK dollars and shopping accounts for most of them because it is the main purpose for individual visitors (Hong Kong Tourism Board 2012). Therefore, to sustain tourism prosperity while seeking development in the city, it is necessary to understand its unique geographical features and precisely examine the tourism trends. Meanwhile, analysing factors that have influenced tourism development will also contribute to the study.Besides, eco-tourism and climate issues are discussed as implications for the future.
2.1 Physical and human geography
Hong Kong is a mountainous citylocatednearShenzhen, China.There are four main areas in the city, including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New territories and Outlying islands, and their area add up to 1100 square kilometres (Cullinane&Cullinane, 2003). For the reason of its unique landscape, approximately 40% of Hong Kong is built up as country parks (Cullinane&Cullinane, 2003).
The city enjoys of a population of 6.7 million, and it is growing at a rate of one million every ten years (Cullinane&Cullinane, 2003).
2.1.3 Political status
For over 150 years before 1997, Hong Kong had been governed by the British administration, and it became a part of People’s Republic of Chinaonce again on July 1st, 1997 (Cullinane&Cullinane, 2003). This reunification has brought opportunities and enormous changes in Hong Kong.
2.2 Pattern of tourism
2.2.1 Visitor arrivals
Figure 1Visitor Arrivals 2007 - 2011 (‘000)
Source: (Hong Kong Tourism Board 2008, 2010, 2012)
Figure 1 shows the total number of visitors to Hong Kong in every single year from 2007 to 2011. Visitors are divided into three categories, including overnight visitors, same-day in-town visitors, and Cruise-in/Cruise-out Passengers. It is indicated in the figure that overnight visitors occupied most of the visitors.
Table 1Visitor Arrivals Details by Country/Territory of Residence 2007 - 2011 (Overnight Visitors - '000)
Source: (Hong Kong Tourism Board 2012)
Table 1 shows that Mainland China has the most visitors to Hong Kong in the past five years, with an annual growth rate of approximately 15%. Besides, Taiwan, Japan, the USA and South Korea are also generating a large number of tourists to Hong Kong, leading to tourism prosperity of the city. 2.2.2 Total tourism expenditure
Figure 2Total Tourism Expenditure Associated to Inbound Tourism
Source: (Hong Kong Tourism Board 2012)
Figure 2 shows total tourism expenditure from 2007 to 2011 and the line chart presents an increasing trend. The growth rate is rather high in 2010 and 2011 as a result of the tourist boom in those years.
2.3 Factors that have influenced tourism in Hong Kong
2.3.1 Outbursts of infectious diseases
In 2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) attacked the city of Hong Kong and led to the devastation of Hong Kong tourism. Originated in southern China, SARS was a mystery to the rest of the world until several people were infected in a hotel in Hong Kong and brought the disease back to their home country.
Before understanding the danger and risk that would have been brought by SARS, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a recommendation to the world that Asia, especially areas of Hong Kong, Singapore, Mainland China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan, were not advisable destinations for tourism (McKercher& Chon 2004; Kuo et al. 2008). This unprecedented announcement caused significant panic in the world, tourists were quarantined for no reason after returning to their country, breeding industry was interrupted for...