History Professor John Carroll: There’s No Place Like Hong Kong
Why We Recommend it
HKU history professor John Carroll explores the role of tourism in economic recovery after World War II, the rise of jet travel, and the proliferation of travel posters and other media that makes Hong Kong a unique travel destination.
In “There’s No Place Like it: Establishing Hong Kong as a Major Tourist Destination,” a talk at the Royal Geographical Society of Hong Kong, John Carroll explores how a range of organisations tried to promote the city as a unique cultural and geopolitical space.
Chinese but not quite China, a harmonious blending of East and West and of old and new, and a modern, bustling metropolis coexisting side-by-side with the rural New Territories – these are some of the qualities that were said to define Hong Kong. The most important of the organisations to craft these ideas was the Hong Kong Tourist Association which, established in 1957, opened a string of overseas branch offices to help sell Hong Kong.
With help from airlines, travel agencies and hotels, the Tourist Association launched a series of campaigns to publicise Hong Kong regionally and globally. Especially within the context of the Cold War and the post-war era, tourism was about more than economics and the movement of people; it became a way for Hong Kong to position itself within Asia and across the globe.
Please note that no blue denim, T-shirts, flip-flops or sportswear are permitted at the Hong Kong Club.