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27 OCT 2023 (FRI) 16:00-17:00

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

HKU Tourism Seminar Series

Not Business as Usual: Tourism Promotion in Hong Kong History

Date: 27 October 2023 (Friday)

Time: 16:00-17:00 (HKT)

Mode: In Person (Limited seats, registration is required.)

Venue: Room 10.10, 10F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Registration link:



The past two decades have shown how heated and contested tourism in Hong Kong can be. Ranging from promising figures to worrisome alerts, the subject has made both local and international headlines. As the government has taken a more assertive role in promoting tourism through a range of campaigns and programmes, local residents have also shown increasing concerns about destination planning. Meanwhile, visitors have often found themselves entangled in protests of large and small scales.

This talk places these controversies in their historical contexts by examining how, over the past century, promoting Hong Kong tourism has been an unpredictable and even contentious matter. Drawing on textual and visual sources, it demonstrates the shifting attitudes of government and people towards tourism in Hong Kong. Beginning with the establishment of the Hong Kong Travel Association in 1935, the Hong Kong Tourist Association in 1957, and then the Hong Kong Tourism Board in 2001, these semi-official agencies have continually advanced and adapted the image of Hong Kong as a travel destination, especially in times of uncertainty and crisis. However, these official efforts have not gone unchallenged. As the talk shows, alternative narratives and even counter-narratives in Hong Kong tourism are neither new nor unique.

Jodie Cheng

Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant, Department of History, HKU

Jodie Cheng is Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Department of History. Her research focuses on tourism in early-20th century Hong Kong.

John Carroll

Principal Lecturer, Department of History, HKU

John Carroll is Principal Lecturer in the Department of History. He is currently writing a book on tourism in post-WWII Hong Kong.


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