Firework show, West Kowloon promo scheme, HK cultural tourism gears up for 5.9 million May Day holidays visitors
Published: May 01, 2024 07:01 PM
People are standing at the gate inside an MTR station in Hong Kong on May 1, 2024.Photo:VCG

People are standing at the gate inside an MTR station in Hong Kong on May 1, 2024.Photo:VCG

Sharing the joy with the Chinese mainland on celebrating the 2024 May Day holidays that start Wednesday, China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has launched diverse range of cultural events to promote local tourism over the five-day holiday. 

At 8pm on Wednesday, a firework show celebrating the holidays will take place over in Hong Kong's signature Victoria Harbour near Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. The fireworks will be launched 100 meters above the water. It will reveal a special scene, which golden lights rendering the sky with interspersed patterns like "HK." 

Cultural researcher Song Weiping, told the Global Times that large-scale public events  not only "add a sense of ceremony to the holiday season," but also become a strategy that promotes the city on social media in a positive light. 

"Beautiful images of fireworks show the beauty of Hong Kong and its landmarks. They can draw more people to travel to the city," Song added. According to  the local immigration department, it is estimated that a total of 5.9 million people will enter Hong Kong between April 30 to May 5.

The West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong's most well-known area for cultural activities and exhibitions, has also rolled out several tourist events including a campaign called "WestK Outdoor Vibes." 

"WestK Outdoor Vibes" ties up the district's different cultural facilities together like the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) and the museum M+ to offer coupons and other diverse activities to visitors. 

As the district' most popular tourist destination, the HKPM has extended opening hours to 8pm throughout for five days. Prior to the current campaign, the museum had already organized a special exhibition with its Chinese mainland counterpart the Palace Museum displaying relics from China's Yuanmingyuan. 

"The HKPM's special exhibition is an effective way to promote traditional Chinese culture to the world. Other countries like Russia also share the holiday break, so there are also international visitors seeking to experience Chinese culture in Hong Kong," Song said. 

As of January 2024, the museum has hosted around over two million visitors, to which cultural creative industry expert Yao Yu told the Global Times that Chinese mainland tourists contributed "massively" to this number especially during the three golden seasons of the Chinese Spring Festival, the May Day holidays and National Day holidays in October. 

To better engage Chinese mainland tourists, especially young people, several "offline and online" campaigns are also launched across the city. In the West Kowloon Cultural District, visitors will be able to receive cultural gifts when sharing their selfies on lifestyle platform Little Red Book, also known as Xiaohongshu. 

Catching up with the popularity of "city walk," several locations including Yuen Po Street Garden in Mong Kok have been installed with visual displays encouraging visitors to take photographs and share them on social media. 

Ma Weiya, a mainland resident, told the Global Times that she has been waiting to visit Hong Kong especially due to the convenient travelling policy. She said that visiting Hong Kong nowadays is as easy as booking a ticket to her home in Chengdu in Sichuan province. 

"The joint effort has increased the exchanges between people in Hong Kong and Chinese mainland," Song told the Global Times. During the May Day holidays in 2023, Hong Kong welcomed 723,000 visitors, of which 86 percent were from the Chinese mainland. 
"We are expected to see this total number to increase by more than 20 percent this year," Yao told the Global Times.