China Hong KongAuthorities discuss diverting low cost tourists from overcrowded districts to appease residents.

Hungry for business, shopping mall has a solution

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chinese food190125
Starved of business, shopping mall hopes to feed cross border travellers.
chinese food190125

Encouraging cross border travellers to stop off at the shopping centre for food as well as shopping at the cosmetics, jewellery and drug stores, before resuming their tours, could be a win-win.

High-speed rail day-trippers from mainland China (some via unlicensed guides) have caused chaos in districts near the arrival stations in Hong Kong, leaving residents complaining.

Yet the overcrowding of districts like Kowloon City, Hung Hom and Tung Chung, may be the magic ingredient for struggling shopping centre, The Boxes in San Tin.

Encouraging cross border travellers to stop off at the shopping centre for food as well as shopping at the cosmetics, jewellery and drug stores, before resuming their tours, could be a win-win.

“We have been discussing with The Boxes in San Tin whether it is possible to amend tourists’ itinerary so they can have lunch there before they leave for other districts for shopping,” said Bernard Chan Pak-li, undersecretary for commerce and economic development.

“We believe it will help reduce crowds gathering for lunch in downtown areas, and the situation in those local communities will be improved,” he added.

The Boxes, which is home to 261 shops, opened last February and is located 20 minutes from both the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint and Sheung Shui on the East Rail Line. 

Despite expectations that mainland tourists would stop off there, business has not been good at The Boxes. “Until today, we haven’t collected any rent from shop tenants considering the lack of business,” said Wong Ting-kwong, import and export sector lawmaker.

“A few restaurants in The Boxes have signed contracts with some travel agencies to provide lunch for their groups, and a few others are considering it,” added Wong.

The tourists may even be served up a bit of culture with their lunch as travel agencies are requesting “poon Choi”, a traditional communal vegetable dish.


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