If there is a magic formula to get tourists to Hong Kong at present, it has yet to be discovered. The bottom line for the tourist industry is that fewer travellers now have money to spend - and that the currency devaluations in Southeast Asia have given those destinations a powerful edge when it comes to pricing. Given the simultaneous decline in Japanese visitors, this means that Hong Kong tourism has to face a very different set of realities from the boom period that ended last year. In such an environment, the Government's approach to tourism needs to be reviewed and revitalised. The Tourist Association is doing its best, and deserves active support. But, if the new reality is that tourism is not going to recover significantly for some time, that needs to be factored into policy. For example, it may be understandable if the Executive Council shies away from funding an Expo at a cost of $6 billion: such an event might be a huge cash drain if it took place while the region remains in the doldrums. But such a decision needs to be made clearly - and the repercussions set out for all to see. At the same time, the red tape surrounding applications for major tourism events ought to be reduced, and tourist bodies must be plugged in to other developments planned for the SAR so that they can co-ordinate their ideas and ensure that tourism is on the agenda whenever possible. The tourism taskforce with members from all those departments whose responsibilities impinge on tourism is an eminently sensible idea. But it should also address itself to saving time and getting good schemes off the drawing board without delay. It would be one way of helping to ensure that the SAR maintains a competitive edge even in these most difficult of times.