Tourists advised to 'remain viligant' in Hong Kong

The UK Foreign Office (FCO) has warned tourists to Hong Kong about the possibility of further demonstrations.

Peaceful demonstrations have taken place in Hong Kong throughout June in protest at a controversial proposed bill that would allow for criminal extradition to China.

On 1 July, which marked the 22nd anniversary of the handover to China, protestors stormed the government building and were later dispersed by police using tear gas and pepper spray. 

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The protests are focused on Central Hong Kong, near the government buildings in the Admiralty and Wan Chai neighbourhoods. Other districts of the territory, including the outlying islands and the New Territories, are not affected.

For a global city, Hong Kong is very safe and nearly 600,000 Brits enjoy “trouble-free” visits each year. The FCO has not advised against travelling there.

Today, the FCO updated its guidance for tourists to the territory, which is the most-visited city in the world according to Euromonitor, with almost 30 million arrivals every year.

“Violent clashes have also taken place between police and protesters. Further demonstrations remain likely, particularly around government buildings and may take place with little or no notice,” it said.

“Large sections of the city may be closed off and public transport affected. The situation remains unpredictable, so you should remain vigilant and keep up to date with developments. 

“If you’re in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, you should follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder.”

In a statement given to The Independent, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) said that tourists were advised not to visit the areas around Legislative Council Complex and the Central Government Complex.

“Other parts of Hong Kong remain normal, and tourist activities are not affected. It is safe to travel to Hong Kong,” it said.

Last month, the tourism body cancelled the popular Dragon Boat Carnival, due to take place during 14-16 June.

HKTB added that the number of people visiting Hong Kong was not impacted in June, and arrivals data for the month still saw “high single-digit growth”, percentage-wise.

Hong Kong International Airport is operating normally.

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