HONG KONG, Feb. 26 -- Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang said Wednesday that the government should strive to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to receive visitors.
Speaking in his budget speech, the city's financial chief said "In order to attract high-spending visitors to Hong Kong, thus bring about more economic benefits from tourism, we should continue to upgrade our tourist facilities, host attractive mega events and maintain an adequate supply of high-end hotel accommodation."
On tourist facilities, the construction of the waterpark in the Hong Kong Ocean Park and the "Iron Man Experience" in the Hong Kong Disneyland has commenced by phases. Cruise liners and passengers found the terminal building and the first berth of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which came into operation last June, satisfactory. The second berth is planned to be commissioned this year, Tsang said.
As for hotels, the government is pressing ahead with the infrastructure works at the southern end of the runway and south apron of the former Kai Tak Airport.
"We are identifying feasible ways for the gradual release of the six sites facing Victoria Harbor within the 'hotel belt' adjacent to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to the market starting from the end of next year," he said.
Tsang also suggested the allocation of an additional 45 million HK dollars (about 5.8 million U.S. dollars) for the Hong Kong Tourism Board to provide more attractive and targeted services and concessions for organizers and participants of conventions and exhibitions of various scales and types in the coming three years. Meanwhile, the government is studying the demand for convention and exhibition facilities in Hong Kong in the next 15 years.
Tourism has been making immense contribution to Hong Kong's economy. In 2013, visitors to Hong Kong exceeded 50 million, an increase of 11.7 percent over 2012. Total spending went up by 14. 8 percent to 340 billion HK dollars.(1 U.S. dollar = 7.76 HK dollars)