As many of you may be aware, China has had some serious pollution problems in recent years with contamination spreading far and wide, affecting people’s health and everyday lifestyles. With all this negative publicity, it is of no surprise that China’s tourism industry has seen a decline in visitors to the country.

However, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has come up with a rather clever and, shall we say, peculiar scheme that guarantees to get rid of the smog, at least for all the tourists who want to capture a special photo for the occasion. It comes in the form of a picturesque banner of the Hong Kong landscape that is substituted for the real, polluted background. It’s just a case of standing in front of it, saying cheese and you’re done. Granted the picture may look good but it still doesn’t solve the actual problem of pollution.

Keep that pose…


The effects of the smog problems on China’s tourism industry

The problem of smog pollution is creating serious health problems in China. Even during the daytime, surroundings are dim due to the sheer levels of pollution. Just walking around outside for the day will turn your white clothes a grayish color. That said, the Chinese government is reported to be aware of the problem and has plans to invest US$250 billion into solving the issue over the next five years.

A banner of the skyscraper-lined landscape


The banner shows Hong Kong’s skyscrapers set against a brilliant blue sky. By simply standing in front of the banner, it is possible to make any commemorative photo look smog-free.

Looking closely at the banner you can see creases in the fabric, making it seem as if space and time were being distorted in some way. However the tourists don’t seem to be bothered by this and seem more absorbed in creating a commemorative photo they can look back on in years to come.

Well all this may fool the camera to some degree but isn’t it a shame when you consider how far many tourists have come, only to have themselves pictured in front of a canvas that could theoretically have been created anywhere in the world.


The fact is that the real landscape of the high story buildings can’t be seen clearly due to the smog from the pollution. What’s more, according to Hong Kong’s pollution observation center, toxic ozone levels and nitrogen dioxide levels are at an all-time high. And this problem doesn’t stop at Hong Kong. Pollution in other areas of China are also extremely high. We here at RocketNews24 just hope that the government’s pollution strategies are effective in combating the problem, not only for the sake of tourism but also for the healthy living of millions of people.
[ Read in Japanese ]