Community & Education Hong Kong Politics & Protest

‘Hong Kong people want quietness’: Kowloon City residents to march in protest of tourist influx

A local district concern group will march on Saturday in protest of an ongoing tourist influx around Kowloon City.

KC Mainland Tourists Concern, comprised of community campaigners working in the area, will lead the march alongside pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo at noon on Saturday. The march will start at the Grand Waterfront housing estate and will end at Kowloon City District Office.

Nette Tsang, a campaigner working in the Hoi Sham area, said almost 70 per cent of Hong Kong’s 64 specialised souvenir shops were in Hung Hom or To Kwa Wan, according to a list compiled by the Committee on Shopping-related Practices of the Travel Industry Council.

KC Mainland Tourists Concern

KC Mainland Tourists Concern group. Photo: inmediahk.net

“Kowloon City was a residential area, but ten years ago, many shops that specialise in serving tourists have appeared in residential areas,” Tsang said, urging more regulations. “Residents are not being unwelcoming towards tourists, but we doubt whether our community can handle it.”

Timothy Lee, a campaigner working in To Kwa Wan, said local residents do not receive the economic benefits of tourist shops, and the influx has brought problems such as illegal parking by tour buses.

Last year, around 60 million tourists visited Hong Kong, according to official figures. Of these, 46 million were from the mainland. Singapore received 17.4 million tourists in 2017. The whole UK received 40 million last year.

Grand Waterfront mainland tour groups protest

A protest against influx of mainland tour groups at the Grand Waterfront housing estate in September 2018. File Photo: Stand News.

Lee suggested that the number of mainland tourists should be limited to two million each month, so that Hong Kong can withstand the number.

“Hong Kong people want quietness in our communities,” Lee said.

He also said the government should look into introducing entry and exit taxes for tourists who only visited Hong Kong for day trips.

Mainland tour groups To Kwa Wan

Mainland tour groups in To Kwa Wan. File Photo: Citizen News.

Many tour groups have been using public piers in To Kwa Wan as the docking site for boat tours around Victoria Harbour.

Lawmaker Claudia Mo said that tour groups should be diverted to the nearby Kai Tak Cruise Pier to reduce the pressure on residential areas.

Mo said she had made the recommendations to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, but Yau only replied by saying that he would keep an open attitude.

The group said they have obtained a letter of no objection from the police.

大陸團客搞到土瓜灣住宅區污煙瘴氣!試想像下自己屋企樓下竟然係手信店,然後每日一大班大陸客準時來到,情況有如大軍壓境。#區議員潘國華的底線退得有幾低?#民建聯話做咗嘢啦喎#情況依舊

Posted by 陸客逼爆九龍城 KC Mainland Tourists Concern on Monday, 7 January 2019

Meanwhile, Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting will lead a march on Sunday marching around the Shek Wu Hui Market in Sheung Shui, in protest of cross-border parallel trading of everyday goods.

Lam, also a North District councillor, said the march will be peaceful and the police have issued a letter of no objection.

There will also be another anti-parallel trader protest starting from the Sheung Shui MTR station on Sunday.

'Hong Kong people want quietness': Kowloon City residents to march in protest of tourist influx