Does the Environment Matter? Experiences, Attitudes, and Revisit Intentions of International Visitors to Hong Kong

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Hong Kong is the most popular tourist destination in Asia attracting nearly 11 million visitors during 1999. The World Tourism Organization forecasts that visitor arrivals will increase to 56.6 million by 2020. However, Hong Kong's deteriorating environment may negatively impact on such future growth. During late 1999 and early 2000, high levels of air pollution plagued the city for days on end and the local English-speaking newspapers carried many stories about the poor state of the environment. It is often suggested that tourism depends on a “clean and green” environment and that in the absence of such an environment visitor arrivals to a destination may decline. The present study surveyed 1083 departing Asian (China, Singapore, and Taiwan) and Western (Australia, United Kingdom, and United States) visitors. It investigated whether visitors had been negatively affected by environmental conditions during their stay in Hong Kong and, if so, whether these conditions would affect their intention to revisit. The study found that noise levels in the streets, the cleanliness of streets, and air quality were of concern to visitors. Compared with Western visitors, higher percentages of Asian visitors felt that Hong Kong's environment was worse than other cities in Asia and such impressions do have certain impact on their intention to revisit. The study further investigated the attitude of departing visitors towards environmental issues.

Keywords: Environment; Hong Kong; Revisit intentions; Tourism

Document Type: Research Article

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

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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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