Student protests in Hong Kong have continued to escalate over the past week, prompting many to wonder whether traveling to the city is still considered safe. As the demonstrators continue to clash with government and police officials over pro-democracy issues, businesses and countries have slowly started to warn travelers about the potential risks they could encounter while visiting Hong Kong. However, flights are still being departed and arriving in the city, begging the question of whether or not it’s truly safe to currently plan vacation getaways to Hong Kong.
As thousands continue to flock the streets of Hong Kong in defiance of current political agendas, violence has been reported, but has been moderate overall. As of last week, statistics have calculated that there have been 89 arrests and 69 injuries stemming from the demonstrations, and while the students involved in the protesting have been exhibiting non-violent public displays of objection, the police have not been as peaceful. Tear gas and pepper spray have been the predominant products used to suppress the crowds, meaning that travelers on vacation in Hong Kong should be entirely aware of the potential dangers they could face.
Business as usual
While ideological tempers flare, businesses in China continue to stay open in efforts to maintain appeal to customers. But the real struggle for people traveling in Hong Kong has been the impact the protests have had on public transportation. United Airlines has issued a public statement in regards to their flight departures into Hong Kong, reminding travelers about the current transit difficulties the city is experiencing.
“Public transportation services to and from the airport in Hong Kong may be delayed due to student demonstrations. We recommend that customers check the availability of transportation services and allow ample travel time to and from the airport.”
Other countries around the world, such as the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Australia, have also released public statements, expressing how visitors heading to Hong Kong will be traveling at their own risk.
Is it safe?
Hong Kong has been one a heavily sought out location for global travel, attracting more than 54 million visitors every year. But for people considering heading into the city, awareness is essential. No one is sure how long these demonstrations will continue to last for, but until they cease, it’s heavily advised to those already planning on heading to Hong Kong to avoid the actual protests at all costs.