IRELAND OPENS HONG KONG CONSULATE

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Ireland’s links to Hong Kong are apparent from a stroll through the city, With street names like Connaught, O’Brien and Hennessy, and the relationship with the southern Chinese city is about to deepen with the official launch of the Irish consulate general in the city, The Irish Times reports.

Boasting more Irish expatriates than any other Asian city, there are more than 3,000 Irish living in Hong Kong, and this is a connected community, working in Financial services, law, accountancy, the building industry, high-tech and education.

During its colonial period, Hong Kong has had nine Irish governors, and thousands of Irish people have worked as judges, engineers, teachers and police officers over the years. Now it is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, under Beijingis rule but with its own rules and regulations.

“The office is small and perfectly formed,” quips Peter Ryan, the Consul-General who arrived in Hong Kong in August 2014 after serving in numerous jobs in the region, including a stint on secondment to the Asia-Europe Foundation, and as deputy consul-general in New York.

“There are very big Irish connections here, and we’ve been trying to connect the dots,” said Ryan, speaking in the new consulate general office on the 20th floor of the Bank of East Asia Building on Des Veoux Road in central Hong Kong.

Some of those connections are explicit. The mobile operator 3, with 1,500 employees in Ireland, is owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, while HSBC has 400-500 workers in Ireland, and tech firm Huawei has 200. The city’s Wah Yan College is run by Irish Jesuits and among its alumni is former administration chief executive Donald Tsang.

Ireland’s business interests in Hong Kong and Macau are already substantial. Last year, there were more than 120 million euros worth of Enterprise Ireland client exports and with growth of 32 per cent in 2014, and both markets offer considerable potential. The key targets for expansion are financial services, technology, tourism, education and food and beverage exports, said Ryan,

The consulate general was officially launched by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, who expects the mission to support and galvanise the longstanding, significant and well-connected Irish community in Hong Kong and Macau.

“The consulate is already making a big impact under the leadership of Peter Ryan and is a strong focal point alongside Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and on behalf of Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland in support of Irish interests in Hong Kong,” said Bruton.

There are many Irish organisations in the city – there are Irish Chambers of Commerce in both Hong Kong and Macau, a St Patrick’s Society in Hong Kong, the Irish International Education Centre, the Celtic Connections Choir and the Hong Kong Gaelic Athletic Association, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The Hong Kong economy is slowing down, in tandem with the bigger mainland market, but there are still major opportunities in fintech and tech start-ups, as evidenced by the staging of the RISE conference here in August. There are also opportunities offered by the internation

“Hong Kong is where many tourists from China may taste Western food for the first time. This is a shop window for the Pearl River Delta,” said Consul General Peter Ryan.

Among the premium products being imported into Hong Kong from Ireland include razor clams, crabs and oysters – some 55,000 Irish oysters a month are imported into Hong Kong.

“It’s an easy place to do business. We see it as a landing spot into Asia, where people can hit the ground running. They call themselves the superconnector here, which is like what Ireland does for Europe,” said Ryan.

One of the driving factors behind the consulate was the need to boost Ireland’s presence in the highly competitive fund management market.

Ireland was facing tough competition from Luxembourg, which had a representative office in the territory to promote itself as a place to set up funds, whereas Ireland was relying on the goodwill of professionals working in the field and on promotion by the Irish Funds Industry Association.

Read the whole article atwww.irishtimes.com/business/economy/ireland-opens-hong-kong-consulate-1.2356848

Source: www.irishtimes.com

#Bank #Beijing #Britisk #By #Destinasjon #Ferie #Finans #Generalkonsul #Generalkonsulat #Guvernør #HongKong #Hovedstad #Irland #Irsk #Kina #Koloni #Konsul #Konsulat #Luxembourg #Macau #Mat #Minister #NewYork #Reise #Reisemål #StPatrick #Turisme #USA #Østers

#British #Capital #China #Colony #City #Consul #Consulate #ConsulGeneral #ConsulateGeneral #Destination #Finance #Food #Governor #Holiday #Ireland #Irish #Oysters #Tourism #Travel

 

HONG KONG TOURISM CHIEF HAS AN ONLINE SOLUTION FOR THE CITY’S SLUMPING VISITOR NUMBERS

www.hovedsteder.blogg.no is a Norway-based blog about the capitals of the world, with a focus on tourism and travel, the environment, diplomatic affairs, lifestyle, culture and entertainment, food and drink. See also our travel blog at www.minbestereise.blogg.no – Contact us at [email protected]

Hong Kong Tourism Board chief Peter Lam Kin-ngok wants mainlanders to be able to apply to visit without going to their hometown – but only Beijing can make change, the South China Morning Post – scmp.com reported.

Allowing mainland residents to apply online for permission to visit Hong Kong could help arrest a collapse in visitor numbers that has hit the hospitality industry as well as local retailers, the head of the tourism board said yesterday.

The switch would mean would-be tourists no longer had to return to their hometowns to apply for the permit, chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok told an economic forum.

But the change would be up to Beijing to implement.

His comments came after months of declining visitor numbers. Even the post-National Day “golden week” holiday at the start of this month – typically a boom time for the industry – saw a year-on-year increase of visitor numbers of just 2.3 per cent, the weakest “golden week” since a small drop in visitor numbers in 2006.

Lam said his biggest concern was a steep decline in the number of visitors staying overnight in the city. He said for the first eight months of this year, the number of mainland tourists staying overnight dropped by 5.9 per cent year on year, and the biggest drop – of 7.7 per cent – was recorded among those coming to Hong Kong on a “one-off individual visit permit”.

The permit is available to residents of 48 mainland cities who wish to visit Hong Kong at least once a year without joining a tour group. Residents of Shenzhen can also apply for permits to cross the border no more than once a week. But permit holders must return to their hometowns to apply for or renew their permits, presenting a snag for the millions of mainlanders who have moved far from home to work.

“Tourists from outside southern China stay in Hong Kong longer, have bigger purchasing power and are the guests that Hong Kong seeks to attract,” Lam said. We should attract more such high-quality tourists to Hong Kong, such as [by asking Beijing to] allow those with electronic passports to apply for a visa on the internet.”

Lam said more than 20 million people held an electronic passport.

In the first nine months of this year, a total of 44.4 million tourists visited Hong Kong – down 0.5 per cent year on year. Some 78 per cent of them came from the mainland.

However speaking at the same forum, Dr David Wong Yau-kar, a local deputy to the National People’s Congress, said the city should do more itself to boost tourism.

For example, the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai was in urgent need of expansion, he argued.

“With no value-added tax, Hong Kong’s advantage as a host for trade exhibitions is much bigger than any mainland city – If a phase three of the centre had been completed today, it would be full already,” Wong said.

The government has earmarked a site for expansion, but construction will not begin until after the Exhibition MTR station is completed in 2020.

Source: South China Morning Post – www.scmp.com

Read more at http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/economy/article/1874222/hong-kong-tourism-chief-has-online-solution-citys-slumping

#Beijing #By #Ferie #HongKong #Hovedstad #Kina #Pass #Reise #Shenzhen #Turisme #Visum

#Capital #China #City #Holiday #Passport #Tourism #Travel #Visa

HONG KONG CAN RENEW ITS CHARM AS A TOURIST DESTINATION

www.hovedsteder.blogg.no is a Norway-based blog about the capitals of the world, with a focus on tourism and travel, the environment, diplomatic affairs, lifestyle, culture and entertainment, food and drink. See also our travel blog at www.minbestereise.blogg.no – Contact us at [email protected]

Photo credit: wikipedia.org

As Hong Kong officials seek ways to boost tourism revenues and visitor numbers, they would do well to bear one thing in mind: not all tourists are crazy about shopping or doing the typical sightseeing, ejinsight.com reported.

Interviews with visitors will reveal the stark fact that many are not interested in the usual tourist traps, and that they seek something more during their travels.

A Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly report in October recounted the comments of some people who made trips to the city in the past few months. 

One couple, who identified themselves as Lucas and Ingrid, said they were dismayed to find that Hong Kong’s tourism scene is dominated by one aspect – shopping.

“Is shopping the culture of Hong Kong?” said the visitors, who are from Brazil.

The tourists pointed out that one can find all the same big brands in every major city and airport in the world, and that it would be a mistake if Hong Kong thinks it can pull in visitors by touting its shopping attractions.

Speaking of themselves, they said they wouldn’t be doing much shopping in the city, with the high prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates serving as deterrents.

Another case pertains to Singaporeans Jacinth and Don, who said they were visiting Hong Kong for the first time.

The couple said they love boutique shops and old-style cafeteria. But if there is only shopping, one can easily get bored. Hence, they are keen to move around like locals and learn about the real Hong Kong.

“Somebody handed us property sales flyers, we were astonished to find that flats here come in mini size as small as 200 square feet,” they said.

A mainlander named Zheng Xiaoping, who has visited Hong Kong many times, said he is put off by the cookie-cutter chain stores that seem to be everywhere in the city.

“It’s Sasa (cosmetics chain) and Fortress (appliance group) everywhere. Shops with character are now harder to find, and sales staff are sometimes rude,” the person said.

Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that “Walk In Hong Kong”, a tour operator that offers visitors a more authentic, real-life Hong Kong experience, has received encouraging feedback from its clients.

The reviews suggest that it will be in Hong Kong’s interest if it promotes some genuine attractions and local culture.

“This is better than karaoke, with live music and all that,” Ronald Green, a retired professor from the United States, said after visiting a singing parlor in Yau Ma Tei.

“We have no such thing in the US at all.”

Green said that before he arrived in Hong Kong, he only knew about the Peak and the city’s skyscrapers.

He said the trip gave him a local perspective that guide books cannot provide.

“Excellent! I have been to Hong Kong many times; it’s always shopping and sight-seeing. I never thought there could be a chance to understand the local culture and talk to young people here about their views on politics and the economy,” another visitor, a person named Nicole, commented about the Walk In Hong Kong tour.

Yau Ma Tei history, a trip to the century old fruit market and a tour of the night market are part of a three-hour walking tour which costs HK$650 per head.

“People are now more interested in local experience, that is one way to attract high-end visitors,” says Paul Chan, Walk In Hong Kong founder.

The company also takes tourists to other districts like Wan Chai, North Point, Kowloon City and Sham Shui Po. It’s as much a tour as a crash course on local history as well as current livelihood issues.

Organizers like Adventures in Hong Kong and Big Foot Tour also take visitors to local spots to experience the real Hong Kong and its cuisine.

While there is nothing wrong with promoting Hong Kong as a shopping paradise, the city needs to offer more than shopping experience to attract a greater range of visitors, including foodies, history buffs and architecture lovers, industry experts say.

Chan describes this as a soul-search process.

“Hong Kong’s charm does not lie only in LV bags or infant formula. We need to dip deep to rediscover what’s so great about Hong Kong, and then turn that into a tourist product,” he says.

Source:  www.ejinsight.com

#Brasil #By #Ferie #HongKong #Hovedstad #Kina #Reise #Shopping #Singapore #Turisme #USA

#Capital #City #Holiday #Tourism #Travel

FLYPLASSEN I HONGKONG NEST BEST I VERDEN PÅ BAGASJEHÅNDTERING

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Se også vår reiseblogg / see also our travel blog at www.minbestereise.blogg.no – contact us a [email protected]

Hongkong International Airport sett i fugleperspektiv (wikipedia.org)

Den internasjonale flyplassen i Hongkong er nest best i verden når det gjelder å gjenforene bagasje med eier, mens Kansai International Airport ved Osaka i Japan er i Skytrax World Airport Awards 2015 kåret til den flyplassen i verden som er best på bagasjehåndtering, skriver Dagbladet.

Utrolig nok har ikke flyplassen rotet bort en eneste koffert siden den åpnet i 1994.

Det er det britiske flyanalysebyrået Skytrax som har rangert de ti beste flyplassene i verden til å håndtere bagasje, ut fra brukeranmeldelsene til mer enn 13 million flypassasjerer.

Skytrax’ Ti-på-topp i bagasjehåndtering

1. Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

2. Hongkong International Airport, Kina

3. Singapore Changi Airport

4. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taoyuan City, Taiwan

5. Incheon International Airport, Seoul, Sør-Korea

6. Tokyo International Airport Haneda, Japan

7. Kastrup lufthavn, København, Danmark

8. Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport, München, Tyskland

9. Zürich Kloten Airport, Zürich, Sveits

10.Narita International Airport, Japan

#Airport #Bagasje #Bayern #By #Dagbladet #Danmark #Ferie #Fly #Flyplass #Kongkong #Hovedstad #International #Japan #Kastrup #Kina #Korea #København #Munchen #Osaka #Reise #Seoul #Singapore #Strauss #Sveits #SørKorea #Taiwan #Tokyo #Tyskland #Zurich

JUL I HONGKONG

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Juletre blant skyskraperne i Hongkong (foto: panoramio.com)

Det er vinter i Hongkong nå (november-februar), i dag er temperaturen 12 grader.

Rundt 50 prosent av Hongkongs 7,2 millioner innbyggere regner seg som medlemmer i et trossamfunn, der 49 prosent tilhører kinesiske folkereligioner, vel 21 prosent er buddhister, 14 prosent taoister, nær 12 prosent er kristne, vel 3 prosent er muslimer, 0,5 prosent er hinduer, og 0,1 prosent sikher.

Det er rundt 480,000 protestanter og 353,000 katolikker i Hongkong.

Les mer på www.discoverhongkong.com

#Reise #Hongkong #Jul #Kina #Religion

1600 PANDAER PÅ UTSTILLING I HONGKONG

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1600 #pandaer, laget av pappmasje, står i desse dager utstiling på #Hong #Kong International #Airport. Det er den franske kunstneren Paulo Grangeon som står bak installasjonen, for å rette fokus mot den synkende bestanden pandaer. Han sier pandaene på flyplassen representerer de 1600 pandaene som lever i frihet i dag. 

Panda-installasjonen har tidligere vært vist i #Frankrike, #Nederland, #Italia, #Tyskland, #Sveits og #Taiwan.

#Hongkong
#Kina

 

YLVIS TOK HONGKONG MED STORM

www.hovedsteder.blogg.no is a blog about the capitals of the world, with a focus on tourism, travel, transport, politics, diplomatic affairs, lifestyle, culture and entertainment, food and drink.

Se også vår reiseblogg / see also our travel blog at www.minbestereise.blogg.no – contact us a [email protected]

Ylvis-brødrene, Vegard og Bård Ylvisåker, tok publikum i Hongkong og tv-seerne med storm da de opptrådte med “The Fox” på Mnet Asian Music Awards nylig.

Ikke bare det, men duoen fra Bergen ble også kåret til årets internasjonale artist, en pris som i fjor gikk til Psy fra #Sør-Korea. Showet blir sendt i 94 land over fem verdensdeler, og har potensielt 2,4 milliarder seere.

Kanalen FOX i Norge sender showet i tre omganger; lørdag 14. og lørdag 28.desember, og nyttårsaften, tirsdag 31.desember.

#Award #Bergen #By #Ferie #Fox #Hongkong #Hovedstad #Korea #Psy #Reise #SørKorea #Ylvis #Ylvisåker