A lucky bunch of Australian travel trade was invited to experience a whirlwind tour of Hong Kong’s newest tourism developments and a touch of sightseeing on the side.
Over the course of 72 hours, the group joined 1000 counterparts from 34 countries to attend the Hong Kong International Tourism Convention to hear plans for future proofing the city’s tourism offerings for both business and leisure travellers through new infrastructure.
The convention, attended by the SAR’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and a host of key tourism speakers from the city, China and Macao, detailed implications of the Belt and Road Initiative on international tourism, as well as Hong Kong’s part in Greater Bay Area developments.
Staying at the soon-to-be-closed Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay, the group visited the newly opened Hong Kong West Kowloon Station featuring the Hong Kong Express Rail Link connecting the city with 25,000km of high-speed rail across the city and 44 destinations in China.
The station is located in the newly designed West Kowloon Cultural District, which will soon be transformed as one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Combining open spaces and a number of arts and cultural facilities, the first to open includes the M+ Pavilion arts centre, and the Xiqu Centre Grand Theatre, opening in January, described as a “contemporary gateway to Chinese Opera”.
Encompassed within the area is also sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, and while not exactly new, it does boast the best vantage point of the city from the Kowloon side of the harbour.
The new Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge was also on display, with guests offered aerial glimpses of the longest land link in the world from Hong Kong’s famous Ngong Ping 360 cable car on Lantau Island.
Eagle-eyed visitors were also able to spot the airport’s construction of its third runway.
A trip on the Ngong Ping 360 takes visitors to one of the city’s most famous attractions, The Big Buddha, the Po Lin Monastery and The Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddha’s.