香港へようこそ!  – unless you follow Mike Pence on Twitter

The government unveils a ‘Characteristic Local Tourism Incentive Scheme’. The initiative expands on a 2020 package intended to ‘incentivize the travel trade to develop more tourism products and itineraries with cultural and heritage elements’.

It is ‘characteristic’ in that it is obviously devised by bureaucrats and relies on handouts to the industry, with the taxpayer paying tour companies to take visitors (or locals) to a prescribed list of attractions, which of course come in two clunkily-named categories…

The CTIS is divided into two parts, namely the in-depth travel and thematic travel … The  [former] itinerary must cover at least two designated sites of in-depth travel and one interactive tourist experience activity with Hong Kong’s unique and authentic experience recognised under the CTIS … [For the latter, the travel agent] has to focus on six distinctive themes, including national history, green ecology, marine, traditional culture, pop culture, and creative travel in designing the itinerary and provide visitors with a captivating and in-depth travel experience in Hong Kong. Details of the application will be announced in mid-January, along with the promulgation of the six winning thematic itineraries under the Deeper into Hong Kong: Creative Itinerary Design Competition.

Officials hope that this scheme will meet with the same ‘enthusiastic response’ as the 2020 one – and why wouldn’t it when operators get HK$200-400 per pax? 

Why does the government need to subsidize such tours? Could it be that tourists would prefer to be doing something other (or cheaper) than being dragged to an intangible green ecology site? 

A memorable moment during the Swire ‘Under the Stars’ open-air picnic/concert at Central waterfront a couple of months ago: a tourist ‘Big Bus’ drove past on its route of government-promoted attractions, and the passengers on the open top deck looked on (enviously, I was pretty sure) at local people enjoying some genuine (private-sector-organized) night vibes.

Meanwhile, the NatSec-focused part of the government sends a different message to would-be visitors.

A Japanese tourist gets shouted at by a Hong Kong cop – plus receives the finger-pointing treatment. How many people in Japan have now seen the video?

And then there’s the Jimmy Lai trial. The latest from HKFP

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai used his pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily, which ceased operations in 2021, as a platform to “sway public opinion” and “promote hatred” against Beijing and Hong Kong authorities, a court has heard as the closely-watched national security trial entered its fifth day.

…[Lead prosecutor Anthony] Chau said that Lai had followed 53 Twitter accounts, including then US vice-president Mike Pence, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, and UK-based activists Luke de Pulford and Benedict Rogers.

Alex Lee, one of three designated national security judges presiding over the trial, challenged Chau on the purpose of showing the list of Twitter accounts Lai had followed.

“He’s interested in international affairs, so?” Lee said.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC comments

…2 ridiculous examples of ‘conspiracy to commit journalism’ charges today.

1. Allegation Jimmy Lai sought a comment on the extradition bill from former HK Governor Chris Patten.

This is simply public interest journalism…

The Prosecution produced, as ‘evidence’ of his ‘crime,’ a message sent to @benedictrogers in order to reach Chris Patten.

Simply ludicrous. It impacts any journalist seeking a comment on an issue of public importance, via a contact who is a UK (or other foreign) national. 

2. “Apple Daily continued to publish inflammatory publications in an attempt to sway public opinion…Relevant articles are directed at the central government, Hong Kong govt & the entire regime.”

Now it’s a ‘crime’ to publish opinionated journalism & criticise the Government. 

More daily trial updates, including translations from The Witness and Ming Pao, here.

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14 Responses to 香港へようこそ!  – unless you follow Mike Pence on Twitter

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    One of THE top 10 most obnoxious of Chinese traits: The finger-pointing treatment. You all know it. You all have seen it.

    Many years ago in Shanghai some asswipe did that to me and I managed to grab his finger mid point and bent it nearly completely back so that it was pointing back at him. Fxxing prick.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Officer 50kg fully soaked (including all his “tactical” gear) showing Tojo who’s the boss. What a pathetic twat.

  3. Low Profile says:

    Joined-up government: one part of the government seeks to promote tourism “with cultural and heritage elements’, while another part decides to wipe out the Heritage Museum.

  4. reductio says:

    That cop-Japanese interaction reminds me of one I had a few months back in an MTR station. I saw a guy who I thought was in distress and since there were three police close by I went up to them. They were in the process of checking the ID of some dude wearing a black Tshirt (note to self: don’t wear black anything around town). After they’d cleared him I politely pointed out this other guy. One of the copper’s eyed me up and down as though I was a human shaped turd: “No need, already checked! He doesn’t want any help!” and having airily dismissed me he turned his back and continued with his buddies to scan the horizon for more threats to the nation. Now, they didn’t know I’m a resident, I could well have been a tourist for all they knew. And I see this kind of big-cock-what-you-looking-at-I’m-dressed-in-black (ironic) machismo everyday. Sending out great PR vibes, boys.


  5. James says:

    I’ve had the displeasure of meeting the smaller finger-pointer during two of the recent celebration nights as I left our Wyndham St. offices late. In every instance, he has been unpleasant. He’s screamed that I have somehow “jumped the barrier” and demanded to see my ID / business cards, which would require dangerously blocking foot traffic if not actually jumping the barrier to obey his orders. As if a middle-aged guy in a suit at 8PM carrying a notebook bag and looking exhausted is also the guy who clambered over a 1.5 meter metal crowd barricade to join a snail’s pace crawl into Lan Kwai Fong of all places. On a more positive note, each time one of his colleagues has intervened and allowed me to go on my way without a confrontation. I understand it’s hard for them to recruit, but why do they keep people so ill-suited to public-facing roles in these positions? It’s as if the nastiness is the whole point.

  6. Mary Melville says:

    Only a few days in and our DCs are already veering off course.
    23 Nov – In an interview with Ming Pao, Eric Chan said he hopes district councillors will focus on their responsibility to act as advisers to the government, in line with the Basic Law.
    “What service does the community need? What opinions do residents have? We need district councils to research and convey people’s viewpoints to the government,” he said.
    Home Affairs: The main function of DCs is to advise the Government on matters affecting the well-being of the people in the district as well as on the provision and use of public facilities and services within the district.
    (Well-being has been defined as the combination of feeling good and functioning well; the experience of positive emotions such as happiness and contentment as well as the development of one’s potential, having some control over one’s life, having a sense of purpose, and experiencing positive relationships)
    YTM DC on Tuesday held the first meeting of the seventh-term District Councils ………………… to propel the bustling area’s economic development.
    The activities include an event tentatively named “Tsim Sha Tsui Night Vibes”, which is planned to be launched prior to Lunar New Year in February and features large-scale neon signs and other visually appealing attractions.
    Umm ……………. but stimulating the economy is the function of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau while attracting tourists is the responsibility of the Tourism Commission and the HK Tourism Board.
    Expectations were that the DCs would focus on issues such as social welfare, provision of more and better community facilities, education, sorting out building management problems, tackling poor housing conditions, organizing activities for lower income families, etc.
    The CE should counsel the DCs to reserve their limited funds for and get on with resolving grass roots issues in their hood and leave economic development and tourism to the well-funded departments who are responsible for these spheres.

  7. Load Toad says:

    Ah, the HKG paradox; how to claim it’s safe and open for business AND claim we have homegrown terrorists stirred up by hostile foreign forces?

    And HKG is still expensive. And there are other options where you can even take your CBD oil with you…

  8. Load Toad says:

    ‘It’s as if the nastiness is the whole point.’

    You’ve summed it up succinctly

  9. Load Toad says:

    I’ve had several interactions with HKPF and I can’t say they’ve been pleasant.

    I’ll note two briefly.

    First one (on the firework night when the boat sank off Lamma), I noticed in the crowd in TST moving towards HH that a part of the disabled and their assistants were being crushed – it’d gone from amusing to alarming, and panic wouldn’t be far away. I pushed to the front of the queue, which the police were blocking as they were letting the crowd from the HH side exit first. When I tried to point out the issue, I got the finger wagging in my face from a red-faced copper; fortunately, one of his colleagues noticed the problem developing, and he did something positive about it.

    On a second instance, I reported that a big bag of prescription drugs were discarded in an underpass & I’d seen them for several days. The police seemed incredulous. Why would I want to report it? I pointed out a few valid reasons. Eventually, they told me I could make a report and if the drugs were claimed in 3 months, I could collect them from the police station.

    I wondered why I’d bothered.

  10. Harry Lee says:

    One’s disappointment with the performance of the HKPF or any single member of the force completely disappears as soon as one comes to terms with the fact that they are the enemy and they are not on your side.

    In the past, I would not have hesitated to seek assistance from a HK policeman. Now, I want absolutely nothing to do with them. I don’t think I would contact them even if I were the victim of a crime.

    The thought of a member of the HKPF crossing the threshold of my business or home turns my stomach. I’m sure feelings of fear naturally would follow.

    Their appearance may look unchanged on the outside, but on the inside they are a menace to civilised people.

  11. Mark Bradley says:

    “One’s disappointment with the performance of the HKPF or any single member of the force completely disappears as soon as one comes to terms with the fact that they are the enemy and they are not on your side.”

    This is basically true with all police though it is especially true with the paramilitary HK police

  12. justsayin says:

    Ah Sir needs to practice his N3 Japanese a bit more.

    he could have defused that very easily but just took it as an excuse to scream at the man in hopes of earning his first gold star of 2024.

  13. Chinese Netizen says:

    @justsayin: “De-escalation”. A very trendy word and concept that has spun an entire industry of trainers, consultants and work for ex or off duty cops needing extra scratch. Just the very presence of a cop increases the friction and usually the first words out the cop’s mouth just sets the tone of “I am your enemy”.

    That said, notice how the comments above from different contributors indicates for every dumbass inaction or chip-on-shoulder cop there’s a level headed, common sensical fix by another? Wonder how much longer before the latter have all retired from the force (surely they’re pre-2014 veterans) and the ENTIRE organization is run by the former?

  14. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Mark Bradley

    Sadly, you are right, although in times past in HK, and in other times & places, I would not have agreed so readily.

    As Michael Corleone says to his mother when reflecting on his brother Fredo’s betrayal of the family, “tempi cambi”.

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