Lord Chadlington warning on Hong Kong handover

Hong Kong’s carefully nurtured reputation as a business and consumers’ paradise could suffer lasting damage unless its image is better managed during this summer’s hand over to China, Shandwick Group chairman Lord Chadlington said last week.

Hong Kong’s carefully nurtured reputation as a business and

consumers’ paradise could suffer lasting damage unless its image is

better managed during this summer’s hand over to China, Shandwick Group

chairman Lord Chadlington said last week.



In a visit to the territory, Lord Chadlington said the organisations

responsible for promoting Hong Kong abroad should improve their

co-ordination to counter the battering the territory has taken in the

foreign press in recent months.



He called on the tourist authority, the Government Information Service

and the Trade Development Council to develop a single message and

’identify those who are going to be the territory’s advocates’.



With thousands of journalists set to descend on Hong Kong in the coming

months, Lord Chadlington warned of PR pitfalls. ’The media will not give

Hong Kong the benefit of the doubt because it does not want to give it

the benefit of the doubt,’ he said.



And he warned: ’What happens in the early days following the hand over

will affect what happens over the next two or three years.’



Trade Development Council manager of international publicity Mark Daley

conceded more could always be done to promote an image but said the TDC

had been ’heavily involved in promoting the economic side of the

transition’.



The Hong Kong Tourist Authority said it had launched a campaign, under

the banner ’wonders never cease’, two years ago to ensure its attributes

were well publicised in the run-up to the hand-over.



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