Land Justice League: HK’s Pushing for Self-Destructive Tourism

Apple Daily

24th February, 2014

Land Justice League: HK’s Pushing for Self-Destructive Tourism

團體形容香港搞「自殺式旅遊」 酒店蠶食民居 扯高租金

In light of the impact brought by the influx of Individual Visit Scheme tourists, Chu Hoi-dick at Land Justice League together with Wan Chai Residents Concern Group held a press conference yesterday detailing data and information about hotels in Hong Kong by the government. According to the data and information, over 80% of the hotels built in the past ten years are located in town centre of Wan Chai, Central and Western, Yau-Tsim-Mong and Kowloon districts.  These hotels are also penetrating into the already crowded residential areas. Land Justice League thinks that the expansion of the hotel industry in Hong Kong has serious impact on the local livelihood.

Mr Shum, who has been living in Wan Chai for over 20 years and currently living with his family of three in an 80 sq. ft. sub-division flat located in an old apartment near Canal Road Flyover, said that he used to pay USD520 a month for his tiny flat two years ago. However, the building was sold to a property developer, and the developer will raise his rent to USD650 this year.

Mr Shum is the bread winner of his family. His wife works part time to help the family financially. However, the rent takes up 50% of the family earning. In addition, his young daughter studies near their home so it is difficult for him to move as he cannot afford the transportation and high rental price in the nearby area. Mr Shum has been waiting for a public housing unit for over five years. He criticised the government for sacrificing Hong Kongers’ housing needs in order to accommodate more Chinese tourists. By converting residential areas into hotel buildings raises the rental prices in the whole area and limiting the choices of cheap flats for the grass root.

Chu said that over 30,000 hotel rooms have been built in the past ten years. Since 2004, the total number of hotels have occupied 91.6 hectare of land, an equivalent of 5.5 Victoria Park, and bigger than the 88.3 hectare residential land in the Northeastern New Territories new development area. Since the government estimated to have 100 million visitors in Hong Kong by 2023, Hong Kong hotels will continue to be scarce. The endless expansion of the hotel industry in Hong Kong will only turn Hong Kong’s tourism industry into a self-destructive stage.

According to the League’s statistics, developers have been converting land use of residential area to build hotels in the urban area. Since 2004, 98 residential buildings and 105 commercial buildings have been knocked down and became hotels. Hence, tourist related facilities have been developed in residential and industrial areas, which massively changed the local livelihood and impacted the rental prices. With hotels replacing residential buildings in urban areas, the drop of residential units have reduced the supply of flats for Hong Kong residents, pushing rental prices upwards. The League said that they will lobby with politicians and ask them put pressure on the government.

The League together with Wan Chai residents went to a hotel construction site in Hing Wan Street and hung a banner that says “Hotel Construction Goes Out of Control, Residents Have Nowhere to Live” outside the site. The League urges the Town Planning Board to shop converting residential land into hotel land, in order to maintain a healthy supply of residential units. It also urges the Board to reevaluate Hong Kong’s capacity to receive tourists, and take the impact brought by hotel construction in residential area into account.

Apple Daily

團體形容香港搞「自殺式旅遊」 

酒店蠶食民居 扯高租金

In light of the impact brought by the influx of Individual Visit Scheme tourists, Chu Hoi-dick at Land Justice League together with Wan Chai Residents Concern Group held a press conference yesterday detailing data and information about hotels in Hong Kong by the government. According to the data and information, over 80% of the hotels built in the past ten years are located in town centre of Wan Chai, Central and Western, Yau-Tsim-Mong and Kowloon districts.  These hotels are also penetrating into the already crowded residential areas. Land Justice League thinks that the expansion of the hotel industry in Hong Kong has serious impact on the local livelihood.

Mr Shum, who has been living in Wan Chai for over 20 years and currently living with his family of three in an 80 sq. ft. sub-division flat located in an old apartment near Canal Road Flyover, said that he used to pay USD520 a month for his tiny flat two years ago. However, the building was sold to a property developer, and the developer will raise his rent to USD650 this year.

Mr Shum is the bread winner of his family. His wife works part time to help the family financially. However, the rent takes up 50% of the family earning. In addition, his young daughter studies near their home so it is difficult for him to move as he cannot afford the transportation and high rental price in the nearby area. Mr Shum has been waiting for a public housing unit for over five years. He criticised the government for sacrificing Hong Kongers’ housing needs in order to accommodate more Chinese tourists. By converting residential areas into hotel buildings raises the rental prices in the whole area and limiting the choices of cheap flats for the grass root.

Chu said that over 30,000 hotel rooms have been built in the past ten years. Since 2004, the total number of hotels have occupied 91.6 hectare of land, an equivalent of 5.5 Victoria Park, and bigger than the 88.3 hectare residential land in the Northeastern New Territories new development area. Since the government estimated to have 100 million visitors in Hong Kong by 2023, Hong Kong hotels will continue to be scarce. The endless expansion of the hotel industry in Hong Kong will only turn Hong Kong’s tourism industry into a self-destructive stage.

According to the League’s statistics, developers have been converting land use of residential area to build hotels in the urban area. Since 2004, 98 residential buildings and 105 commercial buildings have been knocked down and became hotels. Hence, tourist related facilities have been developed in residential and industrial areas, which massively changed the local livelihood and impacted the rental prices. With hotels replacing residential buildings in urban areas, the drop of residential units have reduced the supply of flats for Hong Kong residents, pushing rental prices upwards. The League said that they will lobby with politicians and ask them put pressure on the government.

The League together with Wan Chai residents went to a hotel construction site in Hing Wan Street and hung a banner that says “Hotel Construction Goes Out of Control, Residents Have Nowhere to Live” outside the site. The League urges the Town Planning Board to shop converting residential land into hotel land, in order to maintain a healthy supply of residential units. It also urges the Board to reevaluate Hong Kong’s capacity to receive tourists, and take the impact brought by hotel construction in residential area into account.

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