|Lo, Siu Kam
|How tourism has changed the neighbourhood : the case of Hong Kong
|Schuckert, Markus (SHTM)
|Tourism -- China -- Hong Kong
Tourism -- Social aspects -- China -- Hong Kong -- Public opinion
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|School of Hotel and Tourism Management
|232 pages : color illustrations
|Tourism has been one of Hong Kong's most important economic pillars for decades. The Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) implemented by the Chinese government in 2003 has improved Hong Kong's economic recovery following the recession. However, the exponential growth in arrivals has turned many non-tourism places into shared places, where residents have to meet and compete with tourists in their daily lives. Despite the influx of tourists and the unprecedented economic benefits, changes in the neighbourhood have led to many resentful anti-tourism protests in various districts. The success of sustainable tourism development relies in large part on the support and involvement of the host community.
This study identifies how locals perceive neighbourhood change and what is considered acceptable, in addition to how tourism development affects neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. By understanding residents' perceptions and expectations, the development gap can be minimised. Using a qualitative approach, selected neighbourhoods in Mong Kok District and Yuen Long District were analysed, as Mong Kok is a typical shared place, whereas Yuen Long has changed from a non-tourism place to a shared place since the launch of the IVS. Thematic analysis was adopted for primary and secondary data. Twenty-two semi-structured in-depth interviews with local residents and local leaders from the two districts were conducted. The results reveal changes in the neighbourhood from environmental, economic, cultural and social perspectives in addition to the perceptions and expectations of local residents on tourism development. The tourism development process involves different levels of effect on the neighbourhood influencing residents' perceptions and expectations, and their coping methods reflect the different levels of tourism development. Their perceptions of neighbourhood change are shaped by individual and social factors, and by acceptable changes due to tourism development. The results of this study have both theoretical and practical implications for tourism development. In terms of theoretical implications, a new typology of a destination is developed: beyond the importance of studying neighbourhood change, resident-oriented tourism development is the key to sustainability and the positive evolution of residents' perceptions of tourists. This study also proposes a list of practical measures to strengthen community support for tourism development. With community-centric government policies and good education and empowerment of local residents, their positive perceptions of neighbourhood change can be effectively enhanced. Other areas of research are discussed before the conclusion of this study.
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