Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Table 14.1. continued
Goods Available
Lan Kwai Fong
Precinct, Central
MTR, buses etc.
Yes - some
that were
dropped off
before or
after dinner
Yes - moderate
number of
couples or
small groups
that were
mostly window-
Small designer shops
either side of precinct
and mixed in with bars,
clubs and restau-
rants; watches and
Only shop that drew
consistent interest
was the new watch
shop. Group tourists
went inside and also
took photos outside
with staff
Stanley Markets,
Stanley on south
side of Hong Kong
Island, buses and
taxis only
Yes - only a
few tours
Yes - but only
a few tourists
Markets and small
shopping mall that
include mainly gifts,
Chinese souvenirs,
Western paintings/
prints, not much
jewellery or watches
This is a Western
tourist spot which has
mainly Chinese/Asian
goods but some West-
ern clothes, sports
shoes and other items;
even so, some Manda-
rin speaking tours do
come here to shop
From the table, it appears that the Kowloon
shopping malls are the most popular, particularly
with group tourists from nearby Guangdong
province coming by ferry or train and who speak
Cantonese. The Hong Kong Island malls are close
to the airport express train station and are within
close walking distance to most of the international
fi ve-star hotels. More independent tourists were
observed in Hong Kong Island malls throughout
the day; however, group tours visited Lan Kwai
Fong and Stanley Markets at specifi c times.
Without surveying tourists about their respec-
tive income levels and type of accommodation
booked, it is diffi cult to be sure that there was a
concentration of wealthier tourists targeting the
Hong Kong Island malls, although it seems likely.
The independent tourists observed also
visited more Western designer and exclusive
shops (small and department) than group tour-
ists. Shop assistants confi rmed that their Western
brand name stores tend to attract the wealthier
independent tourists for purchases of gifts and
fashion items, and not the group tourists who
window-shop. 6 There were differences observed
by shop assistants and the author regarding
what male and female independent tourists
were inspecting or buying. Male tourists were
especially focused on Western watches, suits 7
and shoes intended for themselves as business
apparel. Female tourists seemed to be more
interested in Western brand designer clothes,
shoes, luggage and watches as well as jewellery
and cosmetics. Italian, French and English brands
seemed to attract the most interest, while repu-
table Asian and Hong Kong brands were much
less popular with this type of tourist. American
brands seemed popular with younger tourists,
e.g. designer Levi's jeans. All these stores (except
the Asian designers) use Western models in
shopfront and promotion photographs and as
manikins. All these goods are objects for displays
of visual, conspicuous consumption.
Watches were popular with everyone and
were the busiest shops in Harbour City and
Lan Kwai Fong. The photo-taking behaviour
to verify genuine purchase was noted at the
6 Budget tour groups tend to be taken to outlets and shops that pay the guide a commission as this is the guide's
only way of earning an income out of the trip that is sold to tourists at a rock bottom price. The Hong Kong
Tourism Board is trying to discourage this kind of tour, but it is still popular with fi rst time travellers with lim-
ited resources and those who want to spend almost all their money on shopping.
7 These are usually worn without ties as few offi ces are air-conditioned. Lack of tie-wearing with a suit is on
the spot-the-mainlander checklist for male tourists, along with sports t-shirt with suit pants and shoes (again
because of the air-conditioning issue).
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