Hong Kong 2003
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Tourism Infrastructure, Facilities and Products

In December 1999, the Government and The Walt Disney Company announced the development of Hong Kong Disneyland at Penny's Bay on Lantau Island. Work on various fronts has progressed well and is on schedule. Reclamation for Hong Kong Disneyland Phase 1 was completed in December 2002. Three major infrastructure contracts to support the development of Hong Kong Disneyland are on track for completion by 2005. Construction of the theme park superstructure commenced in January 2003.

Hong Kong Disneyland Phase 1 is targeted to open in 2005 as a world-class theme park for local residents and international visitors. It will strengthen Hong Kong's position as Asia's most popular city tourist destination. Upon opening, it will occupy an area of 126 hectares, comprising a Disney park with four different theme areas, two Disney-themed hotels with 1 000 rooms, as well as retail, dining and entertainment facilities. In its first year of operation, the number of tourist visitors is estimated at 3.4 million, rising to 7.4 million after about 15 years. Additional spending by tourists is expected to amount to some $8.3 billion in Year 1, rising to $16.8 billion per annum in Year 20 and beyond.

Beyond Disneyland, the Government is committed to building on Hong Kong's attractiveness as a tourist destination through the development of major new tourist attractions and the enhancement of existing facilities: —

  • A 30-year franchise for the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) to develop and operate the Tung Chung Cable Car System linking Tung Chung and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island commenced on December 24. In addition, the MTRCL will also develop a Buddhist 'Theme Village' at Ngong Ping to provide complementary facilities to meet the needs of visitors to the area. By early 2006, visitors will be able to enjoy a spectacular view of the South China Sea, the Pearl River Delta and the natural scenery of Lantau during a 17-minute ride on the Cable Car System;

  • In May, the Government awarded the tender for a private sector development at the site of the former Marine Police Headquarters compound in Tsim Sha Tsui. This is the first project in which the private sector has been given the rights to preserve, restore and convert historic buildings as a tourism-themed development to enable local residents and visitors alike to appreciate Hong Kong's unique cultural heritage. The developer plans to turn the site into a heritage hotel, with food and beverage outlets, and retail facilities. The project is expected to be completed in early 2007;

  • In April, the Government announced plans to involve the private sector in another heritage tourism project encompassing the Central Police Station, Victoria Prison and the former Central Magistracy. The intention is to invite tenders for the project in the first half of 2004 and hand over the site in phases in 2005;

  • Construction work on Phase 2 of the Hong Kong Wetland Park at Tin Shui Wai, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2005, is proceeding smoothly. The park will be Hong Kong's first major ecotourism facility. Upon the opening of Phase 2, it is expected the park will attract some 500 000 nature lovers every year to appreciate the unique natural heritage of Hong Kong;

  • A large outdoor wood inscription of the Chinese calligraphy masterpiece by renowned scholar Professor Jao Tsung I, the Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutra (the Heart Sutra), will be erected at a site at the foot of Lantau Peak, near Ngong Ping. The project is targeted for completion in early 2005;

  • To further the objective of increasing the range of tourism attractions in Hong Kong, the Government is developing plans for a tourism node with a new world-class cruise terminal capable of meeting the needs of the new generation of large cruise ships. The Government is also assisting Ocean Park in its long-term strategic review, which will help shape future development at the Aberdeen Harbour tourism node surrounding the park;

  • A Symphony of Lights — this world-class multimedia light and sound show, combining interactive light and musical effects to tell the story of Hong Kong through showcasing the major buildings along the waterfront of Victoria Harbour, was given a successful preview on December 20 prior to its official commencement on January 17, 2004. It will become a permanent tourism attraction, and be enhanced over the years as more buildings are included in the show;

  • A consultancy study on the development of tourism in the northern New Territories was completed in December 2002. Based on the study report, which focused on opportunities to develop for green and heritage tourism in the area, the Government conducted a consultative forum with local representatives and relevant stakeholders. An inter-departmental committee has been formed to consider the feedback and take forward the recommendations as appropriate.

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