HK officials have done little to promote Olympic Games

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 August, 2007, 12:00am

I would like to know what the Hong Kong SAR government is going to do about the upcoming Olympics.

I have just come back from a long trip which took in various major mainland cities. In all of them you can literally feel the vibrations, as people look forward to the Games. I saw billboards, adverts, stickers and banners, telling the world that Beijing is hosting the Games. Mainland people were asking visitors if they would be returning for the event.

Back in Hong Kong, there was nothing. The only reminders are the sparingly-placed adverts and billboards by individual banks promoting their special credit cards. Perhaps people in Sha Tin can feel more because they get to see one of the Olympic venues. The Olympic Games is a major event. Do our officials think that because we are such a 'World City', people will automatically flock here, without us doing any promotions? Do they feel there is no need to promote our part in the Games?

Perhaps they feel the equestrian event is simply no big deal and will not attract that many visitors. Or, do they think whatever we do, we simply cannot compete with the mainland? The fact is that cities all over the mainland, regardless of whether they will be actually hosting events, are playing their part, in their own way, to prepare themselves for the Olympics.

For example, children are being taught table manners and English conversation and buses will provide free umbrellas and paper fans, to make their cities more welcoming for visitors. People in Qingdao are proudly showing off their big smiles and telling the world they will be hosting the yachting events. I have yet to bump into one person in Hong Kong showing the same spirit. Perhaps they are either too busy protesting or gambling on the stock market. Whatever they are doing, they are not showing what should logically be expected of them.

Perhaps the definition of 'success' is to allow the scheduled Olympic competition in Hong Kong to start and finish with few hiccups. If that is what happens, then it will be the quietest Games event ever held, where the competing riders will only be cheered on by their own relatives and coaches.

Agnes Bianca Hall, North Point