“When nighttime economies become the talk of the town, those who benefit are not just shops and restaurants, but also nightlife-supported jobs like taxi drivers and performers.”
Industry leaders confirmed the new campaign would feature a night bazaar on the Wan Chai promenade along Victoria Harbour, and special activities in the Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district, as well as at the Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland theme parks. Shopping centres would also take part, they said.
But the source added that most key events at the shopping centres and the theme parks would be held on the weekends to minimise the demands on labour, as the city was already struggling with a manpower shortage.
Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said the bazaar in Wan Chai was expected to have 60 to 70 booths offering mostly snacks, light meals and dried food.
“The chief executive only started talking about these night activities recently. Since Mid-Autumn and National Day are not far off, there is a time crunch. Discussions with our members to take part are still ongoing,” he said. “We don’t want to compete with proper restaurants, which also need business these days.”
The government has already announced the return of the fireworks display for the October 1 public holiday celebrating the nation’s founding. Wong earlier predicted as many as half a million people could flock to areas around the harbour that night.
The Tai Hang fire dragon dance will also return at the end of this month. The event dating back 140 years has not been held since 2019.
Ray Chui Man-wai, president of the Institute of Dining Art, also welcomed a night bazaar on the Wan Chai promenade, saying the location was excellent with convenient transport allowing people to enjoy skyline views.
“It will be wonderful if apart from snacks and light meals, there are also music shows and arts and recreational activities to attract visitors,” he said.
Authorities earlier launched the “Hello Hong Kong” and “Happy Hong Kong” campaigns to lure visitors and cheer up residents, while the Tourism Board has a number of events lined up in the months ahead, including the Wine and Dine Festival in Central in October, WinterFest in November and a fireworks display at Victoria Harbour on New Year’s Eve.
Henderson Land said the group’s shopping malls would launch a series of evening entertainment programmes, such as music shows, and offer 12,000 shopping e-coupons to stimulate nighttime consumption.
The Langham Place shopping centre in Mong Kok also announced a range of events to be held after sundown later this month, including a free “Moonlight Party” concert on September 29, featuring up-and-coming local singers and free drinks.
Lawmakers from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong met deputy finance minister Michael Wong Wai-lun on Wednesday to discuss measures to support night markets, including relaxing licensing requirements for food-sellers.
Liberal Party lawmaker Peter Shiu Ka-fai, representing the retail sector, said he hoped the night events would build up momentum to entice visitors or locals to spend, creating a ripple effect on the economy.
“We hope to stimulate spending sentiment first,” he said. “We don’t expect the night events will become the silver bullet to instantly revive the economy.”
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