The impact of air quality on tourism : the case of Hong Kong

Yuk Yim Cheung, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


With the increasing concern of Hong Kong's poor air quality and its impact on Hong Kong's competitiveness as a travel destination, air pollution in Hong Kong has become an important issue. At present, little research attention has been given to investigate whether air pollution will affect tourists' experience. This study can therefore contribute to the existing tourism literature on air quality and tourism. It also helps to set the stage for future research in urban environmental sustainability. Over 1000 inbound tourists were interviewed at the Hong Kong International Airport. Research results reveal that there does exist a significant difference between Asian and Western travelers on choice of travel destination and environmental values. When choosing Hong Kong as a travel destination, air quality is a minor concern to both Asian and Western travelers. However, Asian visitors seem to be more conscious of air quality when selecting a destination than Western visitors. In addition, the Asian tourists' standard of what constitutes acceptable air quality is lower than their Western counterparts. This finding is in contrast to the common belief that the majority of the Westerners who have an environmental friendly mind are more likely to be influenced by the air quality than Asians. The study also reveals that the air quality in Hong Kong is still acceptable to tourists. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to improve the air quality in Hong Kong to enhance tourists' satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalPacific tourism review
Issue number2018-02-01
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Air quality
  • Hong Kong
  • Tourism


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