The Impacts of Tourism on the Local Community in Tung Chung

Topics: Tung Chung, MTR, Lantau Island Pages: 6 (2120 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Tung Chung is an area which is located on the Lantau Island. Right after the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport in 1998, it was developed as part of the Airport Core Programme. The government decided to make Tung Chung the first new town on an outlying island. First, the government began with the infrastructure there, housing is also built to attract more people move in. In 1998, the Tung Chung line of MTR was opened. It provided a much easier access of the region and thus rose the willingness of people to visit. A few more years later, people discovered the potential of Tung Chung to be a tourist spot, as there are a number of tourist attractions like the Big Buddha. As a result, hotels are also built in the region, as the provide the most basic need for tourists. After that, huge shopping malls are opened, and what is more, a tourist-oriented project called Ngong Ping 360 was introduced. 156

The project indicates the determination of the government to make Tung Chung a complete tourist centre with well-developed transportation, accommodation, attractions. The motivation of the government is of course the economic benefits brought by tourism. It is well-known that tourism is one of the four pillars of the Hong Kong economy. In 2010, it contributed to 4.4 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP.( It is not difficult to understand why the government keeps on thinking ways to boost the already vigorous tourism. However, is the local community able to share the fruits of it? Does the development of tourism bring drawbacks to the community? In the following, I will use what I have observed in Tung Chung as a case study to find out more. 119

On a normal weekday, I went to Tung Chung to collect primary data which can help me find out the impacts of tourism on the local community there. The whole trip lasted for about three hours. I did observe different kind of impacts on the local community during my trip. They can be roughly grouped into two aspects: Environmental and Social. In the following, I will talk about these three kinds of impacts separately. It will include my response to some of the guiding questions, as well as my other feelings after the trip. 93

1. Environmental impacts
1.1 Noise pollution
Before the trip, my guess was that the impacts on the environment of Tung Chung brought by tourism must be pretty significant. It is because I believe that human beings are born to make troubles, especially tourists come for fun and they usually have lower awareness on protecting the environment. Therefore during the trip, I walked around different places in Tung Chung just for finding proofs of my guess. 67

First I walked around the area where the MTR station is located. I discovered that there are two main housing estates in that particular area, named respectively Tung Chung Crescent and Fu Tung Estate. People living in these two housing estates should feel the impacts of tourism in the most direct way as they live very close to one of the hottest spots in Tung Chung. As a result, I paid special attention to how tourism affects the lives of those people in my field trip. 83

Right after I exit the MTR station form exit A, what I immediately saw is Citygate outlet, a huge shopping mall. It was obvious that the shopping mall succeeded to attract a lot of people. I saw hundreds of people walking in and out although it was just a normal weekday, not to mention how will it be on holidays. I started to be concerned about the noise made by the crowd. It can be a kind of pollution if the intensity is too high. Will it affect the daily life of the local community? It must be frustrating to live in an environment covering by noise all the time. In order to figure it out, I decided to ask for local residents' opinion. There were two people kindly answered my question. They told me that they did not feel the tourists disturbing at all, maybe they...
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