National holidays would usually leave Hong Kong's shop owners all smiles, with cash in their pockets.
But this month's "golden week" was different - the number of visiting mainlanders was up but the sales were down. This scenario has sent a clear message that we should not rely solely on mainland visitors to boost our tourism industry.
With eco-tourism becoming more and more popular, the government should use Hong Kong's country parks to promote the city's image as "Asia's World City".
Hong Kong is about 70 per cent open spaces, and the parks offer magnificent scenery and challenging trails.
Also, places such as the Geopark in Sai Kung and the Ramsar site in Mai Po will surely attract nature lovers from around the world.
Who knows Hong Kong may one day be known as a hikers' paradise rather than a shoppers' paradise.