Hong Kong's Tourism-Dependent Workers Hit Hard By Dramatic Decline in Chinese Tourism

Bloomberg Businessweek January 27, 2020 pp14-19 “The Protests’ Collateral Damage”. “As free-spending travelers avoid embattled Hong Kong, its tourism-dependent workers are losing jobs”. Edited by James E. Ellis.

“All over Hong Kong, restaurants, retail stores and hotels are shuttering”. Lunar New Year usually brings many Chinese tourists from the mainland but this year due to, protests, depreciation of the yuan, and the Wuhan virus, the island is experiencing a 90% reduction in tour groups. Already smarting from US-China trade war, things are likely to get worse. The unemployment rate for retail and tourism workers at “5.2% and 6.2%”is nearly double the overall rate of 3.3%. Making the transition tougher, many of the workers losing jobs were not paid by their employer's government-mandated severance. Already on marginal incomes some are wondering how long their savings with last. Poverty is “at the highest levels” in a decade. Once strong supporters of “democratic freedoms” many are now are having “feelings of ambivalence, hopelessness and helplessness”.

For more detail read the full story.

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