Hong Kong still top city for business in Asia but slips down tourist rankings in online poll

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 August, 2015, 11:50am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 August, 2015, 7:45pm

Hong Kong remains the top business destination in Asia but tourists say they find the city a less appealing place to visit, as flight delays in China start to drag down the city’s ratings according to an online magazine survey.

SmartTravelAsia.com’s annual Best in Travel Poll, which is collected over three months, found Hong Kong the best city for business in Asia this year, the same ranking as last year, ahead of Singapore in second place and Shanghai and Taipei, which tied for third.

But as a holiday destination, Hong Kong fell from second place to fifth. Bangkok claimed top spot, with Bali in second and Dubai, Phuket and Taipei equal third.

Meanwhile, the city’s Peninsula Hotel plunged from first place in leisure hotels and resorts last year to equal 11th.

“[Hong Kong] has been the top business destination for several years actually,” SmartTravelAsia.com editor Vijay Vergese said. “It’s city where you can combine business with pleasure with great ease.”

But Vergese said a drop in mainland Chinese tourists and the growing lack of diversity in Hong Kong’s shopping scene had helped other countries gain the edge in the tourism market.

“The shopping you get in Hong Kong is becoming quite banal and base, because it’s all the same European brands you can buy anywhere,” he said.

“In other words, why would you fly all the way to Hong Kong to buy a French product when you could buy it elsewhere?”

Cathay Pacific Airways also fell in the year’s rankings from the top airline worldwide in the past year to third place, while Singapore Airlines shot up from second last year to take top spot.

Hong Kong International Airport dropped slightly as well, from first place to third it its category.

Vergese said readers polled by his magazine complained about problems with mainland Chinese airspace scheduling bleeding into Hong Kong’s facilities and airlines.

“There’s problems at gates when flights arrive and there isn’t enough space because the schedules can’t be managed the way they were devised to be managed so controlling capacity and smoothing flight flows are very difficult,” he said.

Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental hotel maintained its spot as top business hotel in Asia for the second year in a row.

SmartTravelAsia.com said their poll, now in its 12th year, ran from May to July and didn’t offer nominations for voters, 70 per cent of whom were based in either Asia or Australia.