Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee asked that residents should smile more to so that visitors feel welcome in the city. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the territory’s leader said, “We should be more courteous, we should be more helpful, we should smile more, we should go the extra mile to promote Hong Kong’s hospitality so that Hong Kong will become a well-known place where people and visitors are welcome.”

Lee’s remarks came a day after the government launched a new hospitality campaign that covers all schools, shops, and restaurants in Hong Kong. Kevin Yeung, the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, revealed that authorities will launch a series of new video clips to encourage members of the public to “go the extra mile” to promote the city’s hospitality and enhance service quality.

Hong Kong actor Louis Koo in a video to promote hospitality in Hong Kong (© Hong Kong Tourism Board)

“In the past we have read reports about visitors being treated in an impolite way. These are individual cases. However, this handful of black sheep has affected the image of our frontline staff who have high quality. It also tarnishes our image. As a result, we have started our work and discussion to promote our hospitality,” said Yeung, adding that authorities will ask residents to sign up for the Hong Kong Pals Volunteer programme to work in visitor centres and share information with tourists. 

Under the new hospitality campaign, the Education Bureau will encourage schools to plan activities related to courtesy. The Home Affairs Department will also organise community activities across the city’s 18 districts as part of the drive. Yeung added that the government may even introduce reward schemes to “encourage good attitudes or good service” for tourists and residents.

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Header image credits: Hong Kong Tourism Board

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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