Hong Kong tourism firm strikes strolling excursions on-line free of charge amid COVID-19 pandemic

A Hong Kong tourism firm has moved its strolling excursions on-line to achieve a travel-starved viewers unable to discover new locations as a consequence of coronavirus restrictions.

The corporate, Stroll in Hong Kong, runs free on-line excursions in Cantonese focussed on native historical past and tradition, with assist from authorities subsidies and personal donations. Whereas bookings for its common in-person excursions usually took every week to fill, one latest digital tour crammed 70 spots in a single day.

It now plans to run such excursions in English for an abroad viewers on a everlasting foundation. It expects to start out charging round HK$100 ($13) per particular person from subsequent month.

The excursions are filmed with a telephone and a gimbal and are interactive, with specialist friends similar to architects accessible to reply questions. Eight persons are working in two groups, one on the bottom, the opposite interacting with the viewers from a studio in between tour stops.

“We’re serious about turning it right into a program that appeals to abroad friends, for instance speaking about Hong Kong’s historical past and Hong Kong’s present occasions, to clarify what is going on to town,” stated managing director Olivia Tang.

“We are able to have a whole lot of individuals from all around the globe attend on the similar time.”

Tourism in Hong Kong has been crippled up to now 12 months first by pro-democracy protests, then by the pandemic. Many international locations have additionally issued journey advisories after Beijing launched a sweeping nationwide safety regulation final month that tightens the central authorities’s grip on China’s freest metropolis.

Vacationer arrivals plummeted 99.7% in June from a 12 months earlier to 14,606.

Julianne Chan, 27, joined a latest tour about structure in Kennedy City, the neighbourhood the place she grew up, after having to cancel a visit to London as a consequence of COVID-19.

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