Lei Yue Mun Waterfront Enhancement Project
Project cost and scope
Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that it had been more than 10 years since the Administration carried out extensive consultation on the LYM Project in 2005. The Kwun Tong District Council (“KTDC”) and the local community, which were consulted again on the project in 2019, showed support to the project and urged for its early implementation. He also noted that the Administration planned to commence the construction works in the fourth quarter of 2020 for completion in phases from the second quarter of 2022 to the fourth quarter of 2024. As time might run short for the Administration’s application for funding as the current term of Legislative Council (“LegCo”) would stand prorogued from July 2020, he enquired if the Administration had assessed the impact on the cost and completion date of the LYM Project if funding could not be approved within the current term of LegCo.
USCED explained that it took some 10 years to introduce the LYM Project to LegCo as the Administration needed to address the different concerns of society. When KTDC and the local community were consulted again on the latest progress of the LYM Project in 2019, they showed unanimous support. The Administration planned to consult the Panel in the first quarter of 2020, but the plan was delayed due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019. He advised that the Administration would try to kick start the project as soon as possible.
Project Director 1 of Architectural Services Department added that delay in funding approval mi ght affect the projected cost of PWP Item 3409RO. However, the Administration had mini mi zed the possible impact on the cost by stating the specifications of the project clearly and by commencing the works in phases. Deputy Head of Civil Engineering Office (Port and Land) of Civil Engineering and Development Department (“DH/CEDD”) advised that the tender documents for the proposed public landing facility were prepared withprovision on price adjustment for inflation, which could accommodate the delay of funding approval.
Transport, parking spaces and ancillary facilities
Mr CHAN Chun-ying said that many visitors would take coaches to LYM. In this connection, he enquired about the Administration’s plan to improve land transport at LYM if the LYM Project was able to attract a large number of visitors. He was also concerned about enhancement in parking spaces for heavy vehicles in the vicinity upon completion of the LYM Project.
Deputy Commissioner for Tourism advised that the Transport Department (“TD”) had requested development projects in the vicinity of LYM to provide more parking spaces. For example, the residential development project at Lei Yue Mun Path would provide a public car park with more than 200 parking spaces. Besides, under the development project at Yan Yue Wai, a public car park would provide more than 100 parking spaces, among which 25 would be for coaches and heavy goods vehicles. USCED advised that various bus and mini bus routes were available in Yau Tong for visitors to access to LYM. Visitors could also take a 500-metre walk from Yau Tong MTR Station to LYM. While the Administration would continue to monitor the traffic condition in the district, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (“CEDB”) would discuss with TD arrangements of various transport as appropriate depending on the increase in visitors brought by the LYM Project.
Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that in the long run, the LYM waterfront might serve as an extended destination of the “water taxi” service to be introduced by the Government. He enquired about the relevant implementation timetable. USCED advised that there would be synergy among the LYM waterfront, the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and tourism products related to Harbour Tour if the LYM waterfront could be made an extended destination of the “water taxi” service. It would be beneficial for the promotion of various local tour products.
Hong Kong Tourism Board Work Plan for 2020-2021
HKTB’s plan to drive tourism recovery
Mr CHAN Chun-ying was concerned if there would be enough resources for HKTB to launch promotions in the local market. He considered that in contrast, fewer resources would be required for promoting mega events which would become less frequent in the short-term. Referring to the decline of Hong Kong’s global ranking as a safe city from the ninth position in 2017 to twentieth in 2019 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, he enquired about the measures to be taken in future promotion to make up such a negative change.
Mr Dane CHENG of HKTB replied that to drive a tourism revival gradually, HKTB would launch a series of tourism promotion initiatives to stimulate spending and promote positive ambience in Hong Kong by encouraging locals to rediscover the tourism characteristics of different neighbourhoods and communities to send a positive message to visitors and restore their confidence in the city. Hence, HKTB had budgeted $40 million for the “Hello Hong Kong” campaign to introduce some 11 000 enticements covering food, shopping, hotels and attractions, among others, from the middle of June 2020. With about $300 million allocated for promoting events and thematic tourism, HKTB would be cautious in using the fund to promote mega events to attract the international spotlight and convey a positive message to potential travellers from the world. It would prepare for the organization of the international rugby event, i.e. the Hong Kong Sevens, in October 2020 depending on the pandemic situation. He also said that safety was always the priority concern of travellers. Hong Kong was good at its public health safety in view of a stable pandemic situation which would be duly promoted.
SCED added that the Government strived to ensure the safety of travellers in Hong Kong. While the measures on enhancing public health safety were considered effective, the Government would strengthen its efforts to deal with social events which had affected the travellers’ desire to visit Hong Kong. Meanwhile, all sectors of Hong Kong should make preparations for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infection when cross-boundary flow of people resumed.