HK cruise firms hit after National Day fireworks show canceled, arrivals plunge

By Song Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/19 22:28:41

Fireworks illuminate Hong Kong's skyline on October 1, 2018. Photo: VCG

Some Hong Kong-based tourism agencies that offer cruises to enjoy fireworks shows said on Thursday that they will have to cancel all bookings for cruises for the fireworks show on National Day in Victoria Harbour since the show has been called off. 

An industry insider told the Global Times that her company would lose more than HK$500,000 ($63,860) as a result. Related staff won't have any work and they're worried about their incomes.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Wednesday announced plans to cancel the scheduled fireworks show on October 1, China's National Day, due to concerns about public safety.

Yiu Si-wing, chairman of China Travel Service (Hong Kong) and a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, told the Global Times that the National Day fireworks shows normally would attract gatherings of 300,000 to 400,000 people, and it would be difficult to evacuate them if there are traffic jams or closures of MTR stations.

Also, it would be difficult to deal with any conflicts, he said.

Yiu said that tourism enterprises in Hong Kong have encountered difficulties, and some companies were depending on the fireworks show to make up for these problems.

"We used to arrange about 50 cruises for such events and only 10 had been booked by customers this year, not to mention that now we have to cancel all of those," said Tiffany Lee, marketing and sales director of Jubilee International Tour Centre, a 36-year-old tourism company in Hong Kong.

The firm's revenue has plunged in the past three months, she said.

"There was almost no business in the past three months, and what's worse is that summer holidays were always peak seasons for tourism," Lee said, adding that employees in her company have nothing to do since tourists have stopped visiting Hong Kong.

Tour groups from the Chinese mainland slid 90 percent year-on-year in the first two weeks of September, and those from Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries dropped 50 percent, reported on Thursday, citing Jason Wong, chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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