Harbourfront night markets under a government-led campaign designed to reinvigorate Hong Kong’s night-time economy have drawn some 270,000 visitors since the drive was introduced in September, Hong Kong’s deputy finance minister has said.
But the government did not have figures on the events’ economic impact.
In a written reply to lawmaker Benson Luk on Wednesday, the city’s Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong said more than 25 events had been held under the “Night Vibes Hong Kong” banner since mid-September. The campaign was launched in an effort to redress weak consumption and reinvigorate the city’s evening economy after Covid-related restrictions kept Hongkongers at home for the better part of three years.
“The ‘Night Vibes Hong Kong’ campaign has received positive feedback from citizens and tourists since its launch,” Wong said, adding that the government would continue to roll out more events over Christmas, the New Year countdown, and the Lunar New Year.
Much of the government’s drive to boost the evening economy is centred around malls, pop-up night markets, and events already firmly entrenched in the city’s calendar. It runs from Mid-Autumn Festival, which this year fell in late September, until Lunar New Year, in early February, traditionally the city’s busiest period for spending and for tourism.
As part of the campaign, special offers have been provided at more than 80 shopping malls, and fare concessions have been offered by public transport operators.
No ‘specific estimation’
Wong said 660,000 attendees were recorded at Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, while the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Museum of Art, and Hong Kong Space Museum received over 7,200 visitors during extended evening hours on weekends and public holidays that started on September 29.
He added that the National Day fireworks display attracted over 430,000 spectators on both sides of Victoria Harbour, while some 140,000 people attended the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival held at the Central Harbourfront space.
“Victoria [Harbour] is a symbol of Hong Kong and as [of] 31 October, some 270 000 people have visited the night-time events on the three harbourfront sites,” Wong wrote.
He also said the government had not made “any specific estimation of the number of additional tourists and extra economic benefits” that the campaign might bring.
HKFP has reached out to the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau for comment.
The three night markets at Wan Chai harbourfront, Sai Wan harbourfront and Kwun Tong harbourfront were touted as mainstays of the Night Vibes campaign. The Temple Street Night Market is set to see its post-pandemic reopening later this month, but stalls are expected to close earlier than their harbourfront counterparts, given the market’s proximity to residential areas.
“The change of lifestyle habits following the global pandemic would take time to adjust,” Wong said. “Meanwhile, the Government will keep exploring every possible means to boost our overall economy, including night-time economy.”
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