Goodbye, paradise

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2012, 12:00am


Hong Kong is more like a shopper's hell than the paradise it's made out to be. A survey ranks our shopping streets the second-worst in the world for their unfriendly salespeople and poor hygiene.

Singapore's Orchard Road topped the list for its spotless wide pavements and varied stores. Luxembourg's Liberty Avenue came second, followed by Amsterdam's P.C. Hooftstraat.

French research firm Presence sent secret shoppers to 30 cities around the world to rate famous shopping streets by customer service and cleanliness.

Caroline Mak Sui-king, chairwoman of the Retail Management Association, is disappointed by the report.

'It proves Hong Kong people are not welcoming enough,' Mak says. 'Citizens are not proactively helping tourists. If the situation continues, the city will lose its charm.'

She says it is increasingly difficult to attract new blood to the retail industry, and this affects the quality of customer service.

Tourism lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun fears customer service in the city is moving backwards.

'Recent reports show the English standard of Hong Kong people is deteriorating,' he says.

'They aren't good at speaking with foreigners.'

The Tourism Board's annual reports show that visitors rated the city 8.3 out of 10 in both 2009 and 2010.