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Development Tourism

38.   Last year the tourism industry put in an impressive performance. Total visitor arrivals reached a new high of over 23 million, and tourism receipts exceeded $100 billion. We have made very good progress in achieving a balanced market portfolio. Over the past two years, visitor arrivals from our traditional long-haul markets, such as North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, all recorded double-digit growth. The Mainland remains our biggest source market. The Individual Visit Scheme now covers 38 Mainland cities, compared with 32 a year ago, and nearly 200 million people. We are making a bid to extend the scheme to six other provincial cities in the Pan-PRD region. As our tourism industry expands, it will stimulate growth in related sectors, create a strong demand for manpower and provide many in our workforce with jobs which are much-needed due to economic restructuring.

39.   Last year, we targeted two particular groups with tremendous potential: family and business travellers. The Hong Kong Tourism Board has designated 2006 as 璌iscover Hong Kong Year?in an effort to attract these two groups to stay longer and spend more in Hong Kong. Last September saw the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, and we continue to implement our strategy by developing diversified tourist facilities. We are preparing for the opening of Ngong Ping 360 (comprising Ngong Ping Skyrail and Village) as well as the Hong Kong Wetland Park. We are giving full support to the redevelopment of Ocean Park, and will seek to ensure a start to the project can be made as scheduled this year. This $5.5 billion project, while retaining the educational mission of the Park, will give this much-loved facility a completely new face. AsiaWorld-Expo, which opened for business last month, is our biggest exhibition centre and will attract more business travellers to Hong Kong. We also plan to carry out a number of improvement projects to ensure that selected places of interest remain attractive. The Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, which will be completed in early 2007, will be a good place for visitors to appreciate our heritage.

40.   At the end of last year, the Government invited expressions of interest for the construction of a new cruise terminal and has received six proposals. We shall come to a view on these very soon. Future plans include the Concept Plan for Lantau, which proposes to develop green and cultural tourism in South Lantau. This will be a further area of focus alongside conservation and economic infrastructure.

41.   The Government will continue to invest in our tourism infrastructure and promote our hospitality culture. These will be instrumental in facilitating the growth of our tourism industry and creating more employment opportunities.

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2005 © | Important notices Last revision date : 22 February, 2006