Not to be confused with Hello Kitty

The Hello Hong Kong tourism hub-zone rehab-cum-kickstart scheme is launched by a row of men in suits. Trying to be charitable here, but: the dancers, the muzak, the graphics, the emcee saying everything in three languages, the all-masked men-in-suits audience, the desperation behind an offer of 500,000 free air tickets. 

In fairness, my mind sort of drifted after the Chief Executive intoned ‘…Hong Kong, the premier mice destination of Asia’. (Those aren’t mice, John – they’re rats. And not as in ‘tests’.) Maybe it gets better. But it looks like a box-ticking exercise by HK Tourism Board floozies out of their minds on CBD gummies and civil servants impatient to retire. No flair, no surprises, nothing remotely adventurous. Depressing. (Though on the bright side, it might fail to attract zillions of visitors. Actually, there’s a good question: who exactly was the target audience for this?)

The CE’s personal warm welcome. And the official Hello Hong Kong promo vid . (What, no rickshaws?)

The 500,000 tickets were, it says here, bought by the Airport Authority, whose boss said…

…each visitor with a free ticket is expected to bring two or three companions with them, meaning the giveaway could attract some 1.5 million travellers in total, accounting for some 10 percent of the arrivals expected in the coming half a year.

By ‘two or three’, we mean ‘one’ – let’s hope. 

It gets weirder, or at least more complicated. The government will distribute 80,000 free tickets to Hong Kong residents so they can ‘share the joy’ – by going somewhere else. And another 80,000 will go to ‘Greater Bay Area’ folk, so they can come to Hong Kong and then go somewhere else, or something.

Some out-of-area links…

Spot the brain cell: Jordan Klepper of The Late Show interviewing Trump fans in South Carolina.

A thread on the Wagner Group’s human (as in released convicts) wave tactics in Ukraine.

It seems the truly hip and groovy among us have the most ancient rice cookers. This guy’s model (on the left below) is 25 years old, but to me it looks more like the space-age touch-screen Internet-linked ones of today. That’s because mine is on the right. It has two buttons: one to open the lid, and one that toggles between ‘cooking’ and ‘keeping warm’ – for actual ‘off’ you unplug the whole thing. No microchips. No beeping noises. No LED or indeed any screen. Virtually no moving parts. Still working fine after all these decades. 

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12 Responses to Not to be confused with Hello Kitty

  1. Blindingly Obvious says:

    Hong Kong will ever look like the Village Idiot until it ends the mandatory face nappies voodoo.

    Who from the normal world will travel to a backwards part of the world that still enforces face nappies?

  2. Low Profile says:

    When I clicked on your link this morning, YouTube came up with a tourism advert for Tokyo. Somehow it seemed an appropriate response to today’s post.

  3. Badass Obiter Dicta G says:

    Free tickets to leave would be snapped up?

  4. Cassowary says:

    If you’ll remember, the rickshaws were put out of business when the Star Ferry pier was moved from in front of the old Legco building to the arse end of IFC. Can’t do a rickshaw tour in a spot where there’s nothing to look at.

    HK tourism policy in a nutshell, really. Nothing to see here, go to Watsons and buy out the entire stock of Panadol. The slogan should have been Hong Kong: China’s Duty Free Shop

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    Methinks the vast majority of 500k tickets will go to China mainlanders. Assuming Cathay will bear the brunt of all the classy free ticket “winners”?? Hope their staffing has been sorted…

  6. Probably says:

    As a suggestion to increase tourism trade in HK why not allow the US Navy to dock for a few days R&R as they used to not so long ago?

    BTW with all of the supposed secrecy surrounding naval manouevers how did the girls in Wanchai always know when the US fleet was due to arrive?

  7. Casira says:

    I need a free ticket to come withdraw my MPF

  8. Reactor #4 says:

    Re rice cookers. I have a very nice lady friend who does that task for me. Whether a machine-with-buttons is involved, I have no idea. I should find out.

  9. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Usually 24 to 36 hours after the ‘camp followers’ (Google) show up in the city you can expect a navy ship to dock.

    @Sarcophagus #4
    Does she have to follow the good old tradition of kneeling when serving the rice?

  10. steve says:

    As a token Yank hereabouts, currently in exile in the US and residing in fact in South Carolina, I can attest to the veracity of Jordan Klepper’s account. As Bowie said, I’m afraid of Americans.

  11. Mary Melville says:

    Government Press Release yesterday:
    A landlord of a subdivided unit (SDU) contravened Section 120AAZL under Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7) (the Ordinance) for requiring the tenant to pay in relation to the tenancy (a) a specified rental deposit of more than 2 months’ rent; (b) charges paid in advance rather than on reimbursement basis for specified utilities and services payable by the tenant under the tenancy, namely, water charges, electricity charges and town gas charges; and (c) cleaning fees. The landlord pleaded guilty today (February 3) at Eastern Magistrates’ Courts and was fined $2,000 for the offence, and must repay to the tenant $400……… read on
    This is ONLY THE SECOND conviction for ripping off sub-divided tenants.
    If the government had spent just some tens of millions of dollars over the years and DoJ had employed a fraction of its enthusiasm in prosecuting protest cases in cracking down on the all too obvious violations of various regulations re structural safety, fire, drainage, etc etc etc in older buildings there would be no need now to fork out billions for transitional housing to provide subsidized accommodation for SDU tenants.

  12. Joe Blow says:

    Hello and goodbye Hong Kong: I’m leaving it”

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