Gloomy economic times are not impacting tourism in Hong Kong. In fact, it is one of few industries to have remained robust here over the past few years, and which is expected to remain so in 2012, amid seasonal blips.
Many reasons have contributed to its good performance. That tourists keep coming is a major one.
Figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board indicate that in 2011, the number of arrivals to Hong Kong hit a record high of almost 42 million.
And despite the financial tsunami's lingering impact on the American economy, the number of visitors from the Americas to Hong Kong was up 4.1 per cent in 2011 on 2010.
The visitors have created jobs. And this explains why there are always vacancies in the industry. The high turnover rate in travel and tourism can also be attributed to the large number of job opportunities.
Compared with routine office work, young people will certainly find the industry interesting and attractive. It is lively, though tourism does have some shortcomings, such as shift work and occasional long working hours.
Unlike office workers who earn a fixed salary, some tourism industry employees, such as tour guides, are following the mantra of "working more to earn more money".
This also makes the industry very attractive to young people.
Jacqueline Cheung, senior manager, administration and marketing, Hong Kong Travel and Tourism Training Centre