Call for sharing of tourism promotion

LEGISLATIVE Councillor Howard Young How-wah supports joint tourism promotions for Hongkong and China - provided costs are shared.

He said the arrangement would benefit both, but he ''would be against one party doing the paying and the other not''.

The Hongkong Tourist Association (HKTA) is believed to be under increasing pressure to promote the territory jointly with China.

In emphasising the need for cost-sharing, Mr Young, who represents the travel industry in the Legislative Council, said: ''There is no such thing as free lunch.'' HKTA executive director Eugene Sullivan said that although the association, as a matter of policy, did not promote any other country, many local travel agents, tour operators and airlines did promote neighbouring countries.

He said the HKTA was indirectly promoting mainland tourism through its work with various travel-related groups.

Mr Young said he was satisfied with the arrangement under which the HKTA acted to promote inbound tourism.

He said there was no need to appoint a government body to take over the HKTA's role because, unlike other countries, tourism infrastructure and other facilities in Hongkong were left largely to private investment.

The only quasi-government run tourism attractions were probably the Urban Council museums and country parks, but these were minor reasons for tourism.