It is a bleak message to give to the tourist industry at this particular juncture, but what it really needs to help it through the present downturn is a lot of initiative and a little bit of courage. Every time some sector of the economy takes a knock these days, the natural impulse seems to be to seek government help to get back on course. It is hard to believe this is a city built by people who arrived with empty pockets and started flourishing firms without giving a thought to subsidies, loans or special grants. The Government is not a nursemaid. Tourism has been given a massive $18 billion injection of funds to liven up the SAR's attractions. That is a lot more than many ailing sectors can hope for, and it should act as a spur to self-reliance. Things will not improve in the foreseeable future. Transatlantic travellers are likely to stay at home for many months ahead. So will most European tourists. Hotels which cater for the top end of the market are in for a difficult year. Pressing for more mainland tourists is the obvious answer. If travel agencies are wise, they will see that everyone who comes here goes home pleased with the tour package, and satisfied that they got value for money. Any more incidents where mainlanders are cheated and abandoned at the roadside, and word will spread that this is a place to avoid. If airlines can offer cut-price trips at a time when their costs are soaring, there is no reason why other areas of the industry cannot do the same. Hong Kong is a safe destination in a troubled world. That is one selling point worth publicising. There is another. The Tourism Board wants local people to holiday at home this year, and many families will have no other choice. Instead of hand-wringing, why not put some thought into developing that side of the business? If the deals are good enough, there will be plenty of takers.