HK hit by ‘worst golden week’ since Shang Dynasty

The South China Morning Post’s headline-writers, unable to fit the word ‘complain’, use the slightly sensuous ‘moan’. Maybe ‘whine’ or ‘bleat’ would have been better. Anyway – Hong Kong retailers are in a huff because this has been the worst golden week ever.

SCMP-WorstWeekOriginally ‘golden week’ was the Japanese spring break, when (by the visitor-arrivals standards of the time) hordes of Office Ladies in lacy socks and funny hats clustered around the Landmark to buy handbags. Now, it means the bundle of public holidays around either Chinese New Year or National Day. I would have thought the ‘worst ever golden week’ in Hong Kong would have been that of 1894, when bubonic plague swept through the city, or maybe in 1942, when the Kempeitai were using civilians for bayonet practice. Surely the retail sector would have noticed slower consumer demand at these times? But if the Travel Industry Council say it was this week, I’m sure they’re right.

Commerce Secretary Greg So lists a wide range of measures aimed at boosting tourist numbers, or at least replace the Mainland Shopper Thing with visitors who might want to check out the local scenery and cuisine. Most of these supposed attractions date from previous administrations or are just Stuff Lying Around added to the list to pad it out (quaint back streets, hiking trails, etc). The tone of his reassurance to the tourism lobby – landlords, in effect – unmistakably echoes officials’ standard and unconvincing concerns about lead in water, overpriced housing or air pollution.

If you think SCMP headline-writers and officials are unsympathetic, see what the Hong Kong public have to say. Lower rents are good, they insist, and the retail sector should go back to serving local people.

The SCMP’s photo shows Mainland suitcase-draggers plodding around the streets with their stashes of Yakult and Louis Vuitton. The caption notes wistfully that fewer of them are coming to Hong Kong now. A close look at the picture shows that, indeed, there is roughly a yard of desolate empty space between each shopper-locust…


Such was the ‘worst golden week ever’. Or, if the Mainland-shopper phenomenon really has peaked at last, maybe we should say ‘worst golden week so far’.

One way to further reduce the tourist menace is to force visitors to look at something so vile and loathsome that their subconscious is forever scarred by the nightmarish image and they carry a subliminal phobia about ever visiting Hong Kong again. I declare the weekend open with the posters seen this morning outside a local construction site…


Yes, it’s an ad. Don’t you just want to rush out and buy a bunch of ‘Evisu’?

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12 Responses to HK hit by ‘worst golden week’ since Shang Dynasty

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Speaking as an albino person of more direct African lineage, YES…sign me up for some Evisu products!

  2. Docta G says:

    You are obviously not reading enough Yonden Lhatoo. Hong Kong is free, convenient, efficient, basking in green vistas, safe.

  3. elflaco says:

    Looks like Yellowman has gotten younger since his ’80s heyday. Zunguzungzunguzunguzeng!

  4. HK1980 says:

    Except that visitor arrivals are actually up 15.4% YoY.

    Quite smart really, if we keep getting told there are less people coming, maybe we imagine it to be so.

  5. Stephen says:

    @Docta G
    Five reasons to believe Yonden Latoo is barking mad;
    1. The sheer adaptability of not being able to carry a musicals instrument on the subway but yet you can push several pallet loads of yakult and baby lai lai when heading to nirvana on the northern line;
    2. Three quarters of our protected countryside are right now being coveted by CY and his developer cronies;
    3. The land of opportunity as long as you are not a domestic helper or a Pro-Dem law professor;
    4. Nobody gets beaten up for the colour of their skin except Erwiana Sullistyaningsih;
    5. The “infectious can do spirit” of the CCP in changing Hong Kong beyond recognition within one generation;

  6. Cassowary says:

    OK, a bunch of United Front Victoria Park Uncle types just showed up to protest at HKU, calling for a return to peace and civility by threatening to beat up Peter Mathieson with sticks.

    Either these people are so stupid they literally do not understand irony, or they are extremely clever for having figured out how to get paid by Beijing to do satire. I cannot tell which.

  7. From HK Magazine’s city correspondent: says:

    Oh, stop being such nattering nabobs of negativism:

    If you are looking for HK’s newest and hippest hot spot, look no further: Lan Kwai Fong’s latest and grandest attraction is “Vomit Alley”. This place has got EVERYTHING: busloads of compatriot tourists, genuine fake monks, mainland hookers, refugee drug pushers, chop-chop triads with meat cleavers and a ‘Yellow River’ of vomit and poop, colored like the Chinese flag and shaped like Al Semen’s head. If you are lucky, you’ll bump into ‘poop dama’. What is a ‘poop dama” ? It’s that thing when a singing DAB matron with Dongguan roots will dump one in the street on demand. Yes: on demand ! And it’s all free.

  8. Mary Melville says:

    Re Evisu ad, where are all those upright citizens who get their knickers in a twist if a mother attempts to breastfeed her infant in public?

  9. Please don’t let the government start promoting hiking trails! The country parks are just about the only place where one can get away from the tourist hordes – now they want to engulf those as well.

  10. Bart Simpson says:

    Why couldn’t they put bigger H&M signs on Murray Barracks? Such a waste of available space for commercial signage.

  11. Nimby says:

    Outside Influence
    Too late. Brides Pool, Lion Rock and a few other NT trails now look like waste tip because mainland tourist groups are being taken to them for the (sole) non-shopping leg of their “free” tours. The government cleverly spotted an opportunity to relieve the stress on the near capacity landfills by removing waste barrels in these parks, knowing the mainland Chinese can not even bother to put it in the bin, much less carry it back out. Now all our parks will become extensions of our landfills.

  12. Nimby says:

    Apparently we owe a thanks to the government for declining tourist numbers, perhaps that’s also the idea behind polluting the parks. The mainlanders will figure they can see the same thing back home.

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