In pictures: Hong Kong, 21 years later

There’s truly never a dull moment in Hong Kong. Source: Shutterstock.

ON JULY 1, 1997, the Union Jack flag flying over the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre was lowered and removed, replaced by a five-star national flag.

It was made official: Hong Kong has officially returned to China. And this week, Hong Kong celebrated the 21st anniversary of its return to the Chinese rule.

Dubbed as one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia, and also one of the safest, the city received about 58.5 million visitor arrivals in 2017.

Total tourism expenditure associated with inbound tourism reached HKD296.7 billion (US$37.8 billion).

This is significant for Hong Kong as tourism has become one of the three major pillars of the economy with a total contribution of 16.7 percent to the GDP in 2017. The other two bring international trade and financial services.

But what is the appeal of Hong Kong as compared to the other China Great Bay Area destinations such as Guangdong and Macao?

Source: Shutterstock.

Not too long ago, CNN listed out reasons Hong Kong is the world’s greatest city.

The bustling megacity is home to shiny towering skyscrapers, glowing neon lights, sprawling country parks, diverse dining, and a kaleidoscope of life.

With an interesting combination of traditional Chinese culture and an urban nation that’s a beautiful fusion of East meets West, coupled with diversified attitudes and a rich history, Hong Kong has something for every personality.

Chaotic and competitive, but also colorful at every turn, here’s why Hong Kong is a world-class tourism center.