National Day celebrations draw record crowds in Hong Kong: Chief exec

Chief Executive Lee expressed his confidence in the city's tourism industry and called upon both the business and tourism sectors to continue innovating and introducing unique attractions.


People gather and wait to watch to the National Day firework display at Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, Hong Kong, on Oct 1, 2023. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY

October 4, 2023

HONG KONG – The city’s leader said on Tuesday that the triumphant return of the National Day fireworks spectacle after a five-year hiatus reflects Hong Kong’s resilience in overcoming challenging times and forging ahead towards normalcy.

Speaking before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said that with a staggering 430,000 spectators, this year’s fireworks show shattered previous records, surpassing the average annual attendance of 200,000 by a wide margin.

Lee expressed his confidence in the city’s tourism industry and called upon both the business and tourism sectors to continue innovating and introducing unique attractions. He said that future holidays, such as Christmas and Chinese New Year, will witness the launch of exciting new activities to further enhance the city’s appeal.

Lee noted the increased complexity in managing the event due to its five-year absence with the advent of new fireworks viewing locations. However, he assured the public that the authorities had taken necessary measures to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all attendees.

Adequate police presence and crowd control efforts were implemented, allowing businesses to resume operations promptly once the crowds dispersed, he added.

Lee said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s initiative to offer free admission to multiple museums during the holiday attracted an impressive 63,000 visitors in one day. The Hong Kong Space Museum achieved a historic milestone with a single-day record of 11,000 admissions, while theaters witnessed a surge in attendance with 154,000 people enjoying half-priced tickets – breaking a decade-long National Day attendance record.

He added that the three newly-established night markets at the harborfront attracted a staggering 100,000 visitors during the holiday period, with some vendors reporting a fivefold increase in business, further fueling the city’s prosperity.

As for visitors, 460,000 tourists from the Chinese mainland arrived in Hong Kong during the first three days of the eight-day long Golden Week holiday.

Lee said several malls reported a notable boost in business, with a 20 percent to 30 percent increase, with the malls holding various activities amid calls to revive nighttime economy.

Looking ahead, Lee announced that night carnivals, which received overwhelming support, will continue to be held at three different venues every weekend until early next year. He said the government remains committed to incorporating diverse elements into the activities, considering public input and ensuring the continued success of these nighttime activities.

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