Action plan revealed

The Tourism Commission released its Tourism Action Development Programme, “Hong Kong Tourism: Expanding the Horizons” last week.

• Tourism generated revenues of HK$53 billion (US$6.8 billion) and contributed over four percent of GDP.
• Almost 10.7 million people visited Hong Kong in 1999, up 11.5 percent over the previous year. THE VISION
• To establish and promote Hong Kong as Asia’s premier international city, a world-class destination for leisure and business visitors.

Hong Kong must be positioned as:
• Asia’s pre-eminent international and cosmopolitan city with a unique blend of Eastern and Western heritage and culture, distinct from other cities in China.
• Preferred gateway to the region in general and the Chinese mainland in particular, taking maximum location of its strategic location at the heart of Asia.
• Premier Business and Services Centre in the region, the natural home of trade and commerce.
• Events Capital of Asia, where something exciting is always happening.
• A Kaleidoscope of Attractions.

Short term
• Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade (Star Ferry-Coliseum to include soft landscaping, foreshore improvements, open air cafes)
• The Peak (highlighting scenic walks in the area)
• Aberdeen (rejuvenating the foreshore area)
• Lei Yue Mun (sprucing up the walking track to the area, improving facilities to heighten awareness of the seafood attractions, soft landscaping)
• Central, Sheung Wan and Western (general facelift, highlighting tourism interests such as Chinese medicine shops)
• Temple Street (highlighting tourism interests such as fortune tellers and street theatre)

Medium to long term
• A new cruise terminal. A site adjacent to the former Kai Tak runway is under investigation.
• An additional full-scale Convention and Exhibition Centre. Preliminary projections indicate a need for a second centre of 50,000sqm (the same size as HKCEC in Wanchai). The Airport Authority is studying the feasibility of such a facility at Chek Lap Kok.
• A major performing arts venue. Part of the West Kowloon reclamation.
• A multi-purpose stadium to seat up to 60,000 or more.

ATTRACTIONS (under development or under study)
• Hong Kong Disneyland
• Fisherman’s Wharf at Aberdeen
• Cable Car from Tung Chung-Ngong Ping
• International Wetland Park
• Permanent Circus
• Cable Car from Aberdeen to The Peak

The Tourism Action Programme also highlights heritage and countryside attractions. Under “Software”, it talks about easing access to Hong Kong, improving standards and performance of visitor services, enhancing the quality of experience and the planning and promotion steps to be taken.

“The decisions we have taken in the past 12 months to reach agreement on the construction of a world-class theme park, and plans for other new attractions, such as a tourism cable car system and the wetland park, will provide powerful incentives for more visitors to come to Hong Kong,” said the Tourism Commission.

Said HKTA chair, Selina Chow: “What we have here is a firm commitment by the government to give tourism the support it needs to meet the challenges of the new millennium.”

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