With a single stroke, the WHO has removed a powerful psychological burden for the Hong Kong economy. Now that the cloud hanging over its international image has been removed, the city is expected to return to life gradually, with people shopping and eating out more and business travellers and tourists trickling back, according to economists. But the removal of the travel warning won't give the economy a kick-start. Two of Hong Kong's major trading partners - the mainland and Taiwan - are still badly affected by the Sars outbreak. The lifting of the advisory will boost the travel industry, which accounts for about 5 per cent of the economy, as businesspeople and tourists feel safe coming to the city again. But it will happen gradually, as the image of an infected Hong Kong will take time to fade from peoples' minds. 'This is great news, [but] don't count on the tourism sector to come right back,' said Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse First Boston. 'It's going to take time and it probably needs Sars to disappear from the press - and the mainland and Taiwan bringing Sars under control - before we see the possibility of a full recovery.' The director-general of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Vicky Davies, said overseas customers - whose insurance policies had prevented them from travelling to the city during the advisory - would return immediately. Li Kui-wai, associate professor of economics and finance at City University, said the lifting of the warning came 'early enough that it doesn't destroy the high season of July and August'. That's good news for exports, which have slowed since January.