Generally speaking, suppliers of most services have to sell their output to consumers directly and at the spot. As a result, unlike manufactured products which can be sold worldwide, services are relatively restricted in terms of the coverage of business and the volume of sales.
Yet, it is not necessarily true that all services sales are confined geographically, and exports do not have to be interpreted as only manufactured products leaving the domestic economy. As a type of service, tourism too, can be exported.
Hong Kong serves in various ways tourists arriving from all continents, and thus "exports" tourist services to the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, tourist services account for the largest proportion of all services exports of Hong Kong. Given the shift to a services economy and the significant role of tourism in services, the tourist industry deserves close attention and warrants detailed analysis and understanding.
From the point of view of value-added, tourism is not a distinct and monolithic industry. Instead, it is composed of various parts of different economic sectors including transportation, hotel, retailing, sight-seeing, entertainment, telecommunications, and restaurants. To understand tourism in Hong Kong in detail, it is necessary to go into these parts separately.
What is the current state of tourism in Hong Kong? What are the interactions between tourism and the economy? How have the sources, flows, and expenditure patterns of tourists changed in recent years? Do Hong Kong's facilities in transport, hotel, dining and retail match well? What policies can the government take to further enhance tourism in Hong Kong?
Based on detailed data analysis, this book addresses the above questions and discusses the future of Hong Kong tourism. The author, Dr. Kai-sun Kwong, looks at tourism from the broad perspective of the economy. He also puts Hong Kong in the wider contexts of Southern China and the Asia-Pacific region. He further makes policy proposals regarding air services, hotel, tourist sites, and others.
Given Hong Kong's historical background, geographical location, economic strength and future promise, there is certainly great potential for tourism which will continue to be an important part of the economy. This book provides good reference materials to those who are concerned with the economy of Hong Kong in general and tourism in particular.
Y. F. Luk
School of Economics and Finance
The University of Hong Kong