Hong Kong: Poor service a turn-off for tourists

    China Daily, ANN | Thu, Jan 12 2012

    With tourism providing one of Hong Kong's economic lifelines, this city has always touted itself as the shopping paradise, a world-class and multi-cultural tourist experience. However, a recent international survey not only put this city in a bad light, but also sounded an alarm for its tourism industry's development.

    The survey was conducted by a French company with shopping spies sent off to more than 400 stores in 30 world-famous shopping streets, to grade their experiences.

    As it turned out, Singapore's Orchard Road topped the list, offering the best tourist experience because of its excellent customer service and ultra-clean streets, while Hong Kong was ranked second to last due to the unfriendly attitude of salespeople and pedestrians as well as poor sanitary conditions.

    The survey also revealed that six out of 10 pedestrians in the city proved unfriendly and unwilling to help tourists with directions.

    In other words, the overall attitude of Hong Kong people is a turn-off for tourists, enough to tear the city's pretension to being a tourism hub in tatters.

    The results were no doubt disappointing but they should not come as a surprise, in view of infamous events which left bad memories with tourists and brought shame to Hong Kong. These, ranged from tour guides hurling curses at mainland tourists, calling them "cheapskates" and "dogs", coerced shopping, fake goods, zero-fee tours, rip-offs as well as unlicensed tourist guides, motels and hostels, etc..

    Even though the government has imposed the so-called 10 tough rules to crack down on rough guides and unscrupulous practices, the quality of the industry's services still leaves much to be desired.


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