Local tourism keeps ‘Symbol of Hong Kong’ junk boat afloat


© Reuters. Sailing on traditional wooden tourist junk boat “Dukling” in Hong Kong


HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Dukling, a traditional Chinese junk boat frequently spotted around Hong Kong’s picturesque Victoria Harbour, has readjusted its tour routes to survive the coronavirus pandemic, now mainly catering to locals.

Built in 1955, the boat was once owned by a fisherman who lived on the vessel with his family. It has been used for harbour tours since the 1980s, and the current operator has run the service since 2014.

Its 12 staff serve mainly foreign tourists looking to see Hong Kong’s glitzy skyline from a different angle.

But with the border all but shut for non-residents for roughly the past 10 months, Dukling Limited’s director of business development, Charlotte Li, says foreign clients are virtually non-existent.

“This disease has had a massive impact on the entire planet and Hong Kong is really dependent on trade and tourism,” said Li, seated in the wooden boat.

Visitor arrivals have been down 96-99% year-on-year for every month since February. At its peak Hong Kong received almost 7 million visitors per month.

Still, Li has preserved about a third of the business by offering tours in Cantonese rather than English and sailing to more distant Hong Kong locations to attract more local residents.

“My kids love boats,” said Edmund Kwok, a 36-year-old engineer, on a tour with his wife and two children.

Traditional Chinese junk boats were originally used for fishing and transportation. Tourism has prompted more such boats to float across Victoria harbour, but many are believed to be just replicas.

“Every piece of wood and every bit of furniture here has its history,” Li said of the Dukling.  “This boat really represents Hong Kong.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *