The Assistant Manager of Public Relations Brea Burkholz for the Hong Kong Tourism Board USA told eTurboNews just on Friday, there was no interest in exploring opportunities in talking to eTurboNews. It may indicate Hong Kong tourism officials are taking a wait and see the position after weeks of unrest in the special economic zone of China. At the same time empty hotel rooms, struggling shops and even disruption at Disneyland are the result of months of protests in Hong Kong. The protest did not soften when Hong Kong Police kept firing tear gas at their citizens.
Hong Kong is all about business and a massive number of people and tourists from all over the world. The tourism part at the very least is missing now, and experts say it will take a long time for the economy in HongKong to recover. City leader Carrie Lam has warned that the international financial hub is facing an economic crisis worse than either the 2003 SARS outbreak that paralyzed Hong Kong or the 2008 financial crisis.
Now protesters in Hong Kong have begun a three-day sit-in at the city’s international airport – a day after the US warned citizens to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to this Chinese city. Several other nations – including Australia, the UK, Ireland, Singapore, and Japan – have also issued heightened travel advisories over what the US called “confrontational” protests in the Chinese territory.
For nine weeks now, anti-government rallies have frequently ended in violent clashes with police – and some would-be visitors are concerned the city may be more dangerous than before. Google Trends data shows a marked increase in the search term “Hong Kong safe” since the end of July, with the majority of searches coming from Europe and other parts of Asia.
After this article was published the Hong Kong Tourism Board provided this statement from Bill Flora, US Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board stating
As the safety and security of travelers in Hong Kong is of the utmost importance, Hong Kong Tourism Board continues to monitor the current situation closely. At this time, tourist activities in Hong Kong continue as usual. Hotel and tourism operators are also monitoring the current situation, and are prepared to provide necessary assistance to minimize impacts on travelers in the event that unforeseen circumstances arise. Hong Kong continues to be a welcoming city for travelers.
eTurboNews in an earlier version stated Bill Flora left HKTB and was no longer the US Director. This statement was wrong, and we apologize for the mistake.
Paul Garcia left the Los Angeles office of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.