Hong Kong drops 3 places in tourism rankings
Is Hong Kong losing its charm as the Pearl of the Orient?
The city slipped from 12th to 15th place in the World Economic Forum's tourism competitiveness rankings yesterday.
Singapore scored top marks in the Asia-Pacific region, maintaining the 10th slot where it also sat in the previous WEF survey of 140 countries in 2011.
The only other regional finisher in the top 20 was Japan, which jumped eight places to 14th from 22nd - overtaking Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was marked down for "environmental sustainability", ranking 118th on that indicator. Other weak areas for the city included "health and hygiene", ranking 50th, "tourism infrastructure" (71st), and "national resources" (84th).
But the city took top place for "ground transport infrastructure" and "availability of qualified labour".
"[Hong Kong's] transport infrastructure is among the most developed in the world," the study said. "Additionally, Hong Kong benefits from strong safety and security, as well as a conducive business environment."
Among the top 20 of the WEF report, 13 were from Europe. Switzerland remained in the top spot, followed by Germany and Austria.
A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau noted that Hong Kong was still near the top among major economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
The city's travel and tourism competitiveness would get a boost, he added, from planned upgrades at the Ocean Park and Disneyland theme parks, and the opening of the cruise terminal in Kai Tak this year.
Tourism in Hong Kong employs about 230,000 people and accounts for 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product. Last year 48 million visitors came to the city, up 16 per cent from 2011.