Should Hong Kong promote cultural tourism?

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Should the Hong Kong government promote cultural tourism to sustain its tourism development?


Cultural tourism aims to bolster the understanding of tourists regarding the history and lifestyles of the local community through tangible and intangible assets.

The report analyzes the views of tourists, benefits and problems brought by cultural tourism through questionnaire survey and interview to determine whether cultural tourism is sustainable and worth promoting in Hong Kong to attract tourists.

Related modules: Module 2 – Hong Kong Today

Module 6 – Energy Technology and the Environment

Background Information, Related Concepts and Relevant Knowledge

I was inspired by a Chinese video broadcast by the Radio Television Hong Kong on 13 Apr, 14, which concerns about the potential tourism development directions in the city[1]. Hong Kong has long been perceived as the ‘shopping paradise’. Apart from maintaining its fame on ‘shopping paradise’, should the Hong Kong government develop other types of tourism to diversify its tourism resources? Since Hong Kong has a remarkable blend of Chinese and Western culture, it is interesting and worth discussing whether the government should promote cultural tourism as an alternative to attract tourists to visit Hong Kong.

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism focuses on the economic, social and environmental impacts brought by its development, which ensures no damage is done on the above aspects and the overall satisfaction of the tourists[2].

Hong Kong possesses a considerable amount of cultural capital and assets with high aesthetic and historical values. In terms of tangible cultural heritage, the Antiquities Authority has declared 108 monuments across the city up till now. In terms of intangible cultural heritage, in June 2014, the government issued the First Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong, which comprises of a total of 480 items. These reveal the abundance of cultural heritage and a potential for the development of cultural tourism in Hong Kong.

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The government has been realizing the unique culture in Hong Kong and carrying out various measures and events to promote it. For instance, the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office of the Development Bureau organizes the Heritage Fiesta annually starting from 2011, in which declared monuments with a specific theme are open to the public and tourists. The Tourism Board also commences celebrations during each local festival, for example, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade and the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival. Besides, under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme of the Development Bureau, the Former Marine Police Headquarters was transformed into the ‘1881 Heritage’ in 2003 while the Old Tai O Police Station was converted into the Tai O Heritage Hotel in 2009. These policies and measures all aim to conserve cultural heritage and sustain the tourism development in Hong Kong. However, are these projects adequate? Should the Hong Kong government further promote cultural tourism in the territory?

To ensure the sustainability of the tourism development in Hong Kong, it is time to evaluate the current tourism resources. The economic, social and environmental effects brought by cultural tourism should be analyzed to determine whether cultural tourism is sustainable and can enchant tourists to visit Hong Kong.

Objectives/ Expected Outcomes (if any)

The enquiry aims to find out the

1) adequacy of development and promotion on cultural tourism in Hong Kong

2) benefits of cultural tourism (especially in the economic, social and environmental aspects)

3) problems of cultural tourism (especially in the economic, social and environmental aspects)

4) perspectives of tourists on the culture of Hong Kong

through questionnaire survey and interview to conclude whether cultural tourism is sustainable and worth promoting in Hong Kong to attract tourists.

Focus Questions

Major Concerns

Focus Questions

Adequacy of development and promotion on cultural tourism

  1. What projects/measures have been carried out to develop and promote cultural tourism?

Benefits of cultural tourism

  1. What are the benefits brought by cultural tourism?

Problems of cultural tourism

  1. What may be the problems associated to cultural tourism?

Views of tourists

  1. Can the unique culture of Hong Kong enchant more tourists to visit Hong Kong?

Tentative Enquiry Plan and Method(s)

Time (Month/Year)

Information to collect

Related focus questions

Method of data collection

Target groups

Foreseeable limitations

Suggested Solutions



measures that have been carried out to promote cultural tourism


Literature review

Books, magazines, reports, newspaper, leaflets, web pages and video clips

  • Data may be outdated or irrelevant to the enquiry topic
  • The scope of the enquiry topic may be too broad to collect all the data needed
  • Some government documents may be difficult to access
  • Utilize resources and data from the Internet which are updated frequently, especially the webpages of government departments (e.g. Tourism Commission, Antiquities and Monuments Office)
  • Collect data from multiple perspectives

(e.g. search information from different search engines in the Internet, videos, recordings and academic journals can also be collected to diversify the types of data)


Benefits and problems of cultural tourism

â‘¡, â‘¢

Literature review


Benefits and problems of cultural tourism

â‘¡, â‘¢


(Structured interview)

(through email)

Professor Bob McKercher, School of Hotel & Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • The interviewee may not be available due to lack of free time
  • Interview another professor in the same school
  • Possible interviewees:

1) Dr Barry Mak – Associate Professor

2)Dr Honggen Xiao – Associate Professor,

School of Hotel & Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Views of tourists


Questionnaire survey (face-to-face)

Sampling method: convenience sampling

50 tourists

  • Difficult to survey tourists due to their unwillingness
  • The surveyed visitors may not be representative of all the tourists, leading to biased result
  • Conduct the questionnaire survey in multiple tourist attractions

(e.g. Avenue of Stars, Clock Tower, the Peak, etc.) and festivals

(e.g. Chinese New Year and Easter) which can meet a greater number of visitors from various countries


Work to be done



Results, data analysis and discussion

Analyze and interpret the data collected from questionnaire survey using charts and text and write the transcript for the interview


Draft for the final project

Finish the cover page, introduction, methodology, conclusion, reference and appendix


Finish the final project

Not applicable



In this stage of work, I was enriched with the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and the understanding of ‘cultural tourism’ through searching second-hand data, which enables me to possess fundamental knowledge for further enquiry into my proposed topic.

During the literature review process, I realized the importance of multi-perspective thinking, which applies not only to the three aspects of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental perspectives) but also the data collection methods used. When I was finding out the definition of ‘sustainable tourism’, in order to obtain a more reliable and well-defined meaning, I tried several means in collecting the second-hand information. Not only did I browse the webpage of the World Tourism Organization but also borrowed tourism-related books from the public library. As the definitions in the books and the Internet were different, I had to integrate the meanings to supplement each other and get a more precise definition. Consequently, I learnt the limitation from the reliance on one single source and the significance of collecting data through multiple ways. This definitely influences my directions to conduct literature review in the future. Besides, my integration skill is also enhanced. I also came across some irrelevant sources and sometimes I had to assess the priorities of the examples when listing them in the background information. This further improves my analytical skill.

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During the draft for the tentative enquiry plan, I was asked to envisage foreseeable limitations and difficulties when working on the study. This raises my awareness on a good planning and proper preparation in advance. After thinking of the limitations and difficulties, I was able to modify my plan and even provide possible solutions and back-up plans so as to heighten the feasibility and practicability of my suggested data collection methods. For instance, to find the most suitable and knowledgeable professor to be the interviewee, I did some research on the specialities of the professors in the School of Hotel & Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and find out Professor Bob McKercher is specialized in cultural tourism. I also came up with a contingency plan when the professor is not available by recommending other possible interviewees. This reveals the benefits of early planning which will undoubtedly bring convenience to me when conducting the research.

During the proposal presentation and peer assessments, my interpersonal skills were also bolstered. I understand the importance of considering the precious advice from my classmates and teacher, and learn how to give practical suggestions to my classmates to fine-tune their proposals. These interpersonal and communication skills are crucial when working and cooperating with others in the future.

In the video broadcast by the Radio Television Hong Kong, Miss Chow, an author of tourism guidebooks, said, ’the most fantastic and attractive area in Hong Kong is about its culture and history.’[3] After this stage of work, I discover that there are an immense number of cultural heritage sites in Hong Kong which are unique and special. Through the conservation and revitalization of cultural heritage, the local citizens can retain their collective memories and learn the history of Hong Kong. Apart from the local community, should the foreign tourists also be given an opportunity to enjoy these spectacular cultural assets? Whether or not to promote cultural tourism, preservation of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Hong Kong is still vital so as to allow the succession and passing on of the unique culture of Hong Kong from generation to generation.

For a more specific, relevant and highly tailored piece of academic material to assist you with your studies, you should consider our Hong Kong based Essay Service.



Cooper, C. (2012). Essentials of Tourism. England: Pearson Education Limited.

Fletcher, J., Fyall, A., Gilbert, D. & Wanhill, S. (2012). Tourism: Principles and Practice. England: Pearson Education Limited.



Antiquities and Monuments Office. Declared Monuments in Hong Kong. Antiquities and Monuments Office. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited. 1881 Heritage. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Commissioner for Heritage’s Office. Heritage Fiesta 2014. Conserve and Revitalise Hong Kong Heritage. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited. Tai O Heritage Hotel. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Inventory. Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Hong Kong Tourism Board. Discover Hong Kong. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Pescod, D. Cultural and Heritage Tourism in Hong Kong. Tourism Commission. Retrieved from<>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

The UNWTO World Tourism Organization. Definition. Sustainable Development of Tourism. Retrieved from <>. Accessed 15 November 2014.

Video clips:

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[2] The UNWTO World Tourism Organization, Definition, Sustainable Development of Tourism, <>, (15 November 2014).

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