Chinese tourist’s positive experience in Hong Kong challenges negative perceptions

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8th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) In recent years, negative comments about Hong Kong, particularly regarding alleged discrimination against mainland tourists, have proliferated in online discussions. However, a Chinese tourist’s recent account on Xiaohongshu of his trip to Hong Kong last month paints a starkly different picture, challenging preconceived notions and sparking extensive debate among Chinese internet users.

The tourist’s post, titled “No Longer Fearful of Discrimination: My Eye-Opening Experience in Hong Kong,” describes how he had been influenced by the prevailing online discourse that often portrayed Hong Kong in a negative light, with discrimination being a prominent issue. As a result, he approached his upcoming trip to Hong Kong with apprehension, expecting to be looked down upon by everyone, including restaurant staff, hotel personnel, and even passersby, due to his Mandarin-speaking background.

However, after his firsthand experience in Hong Kong last month, the tourist discovered a sharp contrast between the city and his preconceived notions. In his post, he shares three instances of encounters with kind-hearted individuals, praising the friendly service provided by hotel and restaurant staff. Despite encountering occasional language barriers, they made an effort to engage in conversation and showed genuine care. Even in his last moments in Hong Kong, a helpful MTR staff member assisted him, leaving him with mixed emotions and the realization that the online portrayal significantly differed from reality.

Many Chinese netizens who have visited Hong Kong agreed with the tourist’s account, leaving comments expressing similar sentiments. They emphasized the need to personally experience a place rather than relying solely on negative online narratives. They acknowledged that every location has both positive and negative aspects and cautioned against generalising based on isolated incidents. Some netizens pointed out that poor service attitudes can be found in any service industry and are not limited to visitors or locals, stating that it is more about overall service quality rather than discrimination. They stressed that respectful behaviour and mutual respect often yield positive interactions, as most people will reciprocate the same courteous attitude.