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The Impact of Air Quality on Tourism: The Case of Hong Kong

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With the increasing concern of Hong Kong's poor air quality and its impact on Hong Kong's competitiveness as a travel destination, air pollution in Hong Kong has become an important issue. At present, little research attention has been given to investigate whether air pollution will affect tourists' experience. This study can therefore contribute to the existing tourism literature on air quality and tourism. It also helps to set the stage for future research in urban environmental sustainability. Over 1000 inbound tourists were interviewed at the Hong Kong International Airport. Research results reveal that there does exist a significant difference between Asian and Western travelers on choice of travel destination and environmental values. When choosing Hong Kong as a travel destination, air quality is a minor concern to both Asian and Western travelers. However, Asian visitors seem to be more conscious of air quality when selecting a destination than Western visitors. In addition, the Asian tourists' standard of what constitutes acceptable air quality is lower than their Western counterparts. This finding is in contrast to the common belief that the majority of the Westerners who have an environmental friendly mind are more likely to be influenced by the air quality than Asians. The study also reveals that the air quality in Hong Kong is still acceptable to tourists. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to improve the air quality in Hong Kong to enhance tourists' satisfaction.

Keywords: Air quality; Hong Kong; Tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: December 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Pacific Tourism Review is designed to meet the needs of the fastest growing tourism region. The tremendous changes in outbound and inbound travel patterns occurring in the wider Pacific area and their associated effects on the economy and environment demand a publication that specifically focuses on this area. Pacific Tourism Review aspires to advance excellence in tourism research, promote high-level tourism education, and nourish cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in Pacific tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism policy and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changes in tourism patterns throughout the Pacific region.

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