Warnings for tourists to stay away from protest areas
Business and leisure travellers visiting Hong Kong find themselves witnesses of protests not seen since the region was given back to China by the British.
Instead of visiting the sites and the museums, or shopping in Kowloon, they are staying in their hotel rooms as tens of thousands of young protesters block the city’s main streets. The Hong Kong Tourism Board is now communicating warnings for tourists to stay away from protest areas.
According to the tourist board, although areas such as Admiralty, Central, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok have been impacted, most districts in Hong Kong remain normal. It advises visitors to avoid the affected areas for the time being. No country has yet issued warnings against travel to this financial centre in Asia, but the UK’s Foreign Office is urging travellers to monitor the media for any developments.
TTG Asia reports that the travel trade is trying to adapt to the situation as it evolves.
“We initially thought only Central would be affected, but it’s a different story now and nobody knows which part of the city would be next affected,” said David Luk, Uni Asia Tours managing director. “We don’t have emergency plans except advising clients to avoid those affected areas. So far, we have only received requests from clients who want to move from the hotel in Causeway Bay to other less affected areas.”
Holiday World Tour managing director, Paul Leung, said he would not take groups to crowded areas like Mongkok and Causeway Bay.
“It’s still safe to visit the city as protesters are adopting a peaceful and non-destructive approach. However, I do worry how international media like CNN interprets this issue as their coverage may influence visitors’ impressions. October is our usual peak season.”
[pictured: Hong Kong; photo by Marc Sievert, www.travelphotos24.com]