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Dining and shopping paradise for travellers

Hong Kong by day shines just as brightly. The city has a well-deserved reputation as a dining and shopping paradise. It serves up some of the best Chinese cuisine in the world, and the shops have visitors from all over opening their wallets.

Dining is certainly one of the highlights of Hong Kong. Outstanding Chinese cuisine can be easily found here, like roast goose. Traditional cooking methods are well preserved, as well as authentic flavors. The momentum of the Hong Kong economy in recent years has ensured the local catering industry handsome profits.

Kan Kun-Sing, owner Yung Kee restaurant, said, "Our business in the past decade was much better than before because Hong Kong remains a financial center and the economy is pretty good. Besides, more tourists are coming from the mainland and that has been really good for business. "

Dim Sum is another Hong Kong specialty. Steamed prawn dumplings, sponge cake and pork dumplings are just a few of the delicious mouthfuls.

Western cuisine also has a place on Hong Kong tables. The huge flow of people and the wealth they bring have attracted many of the world's finest chefs and restaurants.

Kevin NG, asst. general manager Sir Hudson, Italian restaurant, said, "We have seen great potential at present and also in the future for Italian food in Hong Kong. There are many factors, like people in Hong Kong, they are very willing to try new style, new design, also the spending power is extremely high."

Equally amazing are the city's shopping options. From department stores and shopping malls to small boutiques and bargain stalls, there's something for everyone.

Hong Kong's position of an international free trade hub enables the city to provide global shoppers the most diversified, quality merchandise at competitive prices. And it's not just the ladies who go on spending sprees.

Australian shopper, said, "I have been here for two weeks and I have been shopping everyday and I can spend a year shopping, I think. (Q: How much have you spent?) Probably, some 6,000 US dollars. (Q:What did you buy?) Clothes, shoes, gifts for wife and everything."

A pleasant shopping experience helps bring customers back again and again. According to the Hong Kong SAR government, the total revenue in the retail sector reached nearly 21 billion Hong Kong dollars in 2006, just over a fifth of the total of the entire tourism industry.

Hong Kong remains one of the top destinations for dining and shopping in the world, but one thing has changed--the main driving force behind the growth. Last year, the Chinese mainland accounted for more than half of the visitors to Hong Kong. And they have tremendous purchasing power. This shows a close economic connection with the mainland is vital for Hong Kong's business prosperity.

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