Tourism industry concerned about monthly fireworks’ impact on appeal and returns

Insert picture: Leung Fong-yuen

27th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) In an upcoming budget announcement by the Hong Kong government, plans are set to be unveiled for monthly fireworks displays and drone performances, along with the addition of commercial facilities and more immersive experiences along the waterfront. However, the Federation of Hong Kong Trade Unions in Tourism has expressed reservations about the effectiveness of these measures. Leung Fong-yuen, the Chairperson of the Federation, voiced her concerns during a radio program, stating that monthly fireworks and drone performances may not generate the desired impact as they are already quite common in many nearby areas. She believes that if these initiatives are solely relied upon to attract tourists and are held every month, visitors may eventually lose interest due to the lack of novelty. Leung also raised the issue of the high investment and low return associated with fireworks displays, considering them to be costly endeavours. She suggests that the authorities should consider redirecting resources to support local small-scale businesses, such as the struggling food and beverage industry, which is currently facing a shortage of manpower. Many establishments, including bars and restaurants, find it challenging to operate during the evenings. Leung further proposed the revival of unique projects like the night market in the typhoon shelter area, which could serve as an additional stimulus for the tourism industry.

Legislative Councillor Kitson Yang shared his perspective on the same radio program, stating that while monthly fireworks and drone performances might not specifically attract tourists to travel solely for these activities, they could serve as one of the attractions that enhance other businesses, particularly the food and beverage sector. Yang suggested that the government and the tourism industry should introduce package deals in collaboration with restaurants, hotels, and other scenic spots to effectively entice visitors to stay overnight in Hong Kong. He added that the appeal of the Symphony of Lights, a popular light and sound show, has diminished and requires the infusion of new elements to provide a refreshing experience for tourists. Yang also highlighted the lack of awareness among many tourists about major events taking place in the city and urged the authorities to release event schedules well in advance, ensuring that travellers can plan their itineraries more easily.