Tourist survey holds surprises

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 December, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong makes many claims about why tourists like coming here: it's chiefly the fine shopping, the myriad dining choices, the cosmopolitan buzz and so on.

The awkward truth is far different. You'd better sit down for this: the city's most pleasing aspects are actually 'transport' followed by 'immigration'. As for shopping and dining, they finish at the bottom of the list, according to a survey of 2,841 tourists conducted last summer by Polytechnic University's school of hotel and tourism management.

The pollsters talked to the visitors at the airport, ferry terminals, hotels and tourist spots from May to August. They asked them to rate their level of satisfaction with the city's transport, immigration, attractions, hotels, restaurants and shops.

Restaurants were the least pleasing, with 68.85 out of 100, and shops finished second worst at 69.44. Transport finished top with 77.79, followed by immigration at 74.27.

The tourists were not asked to explain their preferences, but the study concluded more was involved than merely the convenience of the Airport Express and the efficiency of immigration procedures. The report noted that the less-popular sectors such as hotels, restaurants and shops involved more intensive personal services, and called for more staff training. 'Other recommendations include improving trilingual skills [Putonghua, English and Cantonese], and better communication between management and frontline staff,' it said.

Hong Kong received the highest scores from tourists from the Americas, at 78.43. Mainlanders rated it at 74.32, and less happy were those from Japan and South Korea (66.27) and Taiwan and Macau (66.33).

Enjoyable trip?

Mainland tourists' satisfaction rate (out of 100)

Transport: 79.9

Immigration: 76.7

Attractions: 73.9

Shopping: 73.2

Hotels: 72.4

Restaurants: 69.4

Souce: Polytechnic University