September 13, 2023
HONG KONG – A newly released survey found that 69.5 percent of respondents are supportive of plans to establish night markets in Hong Kong, citing food offerings, locations and convenient transport links as major factors in determining how attracted they will be to visiting a night market.
The survey, which was conducted by the Hong Kong Department Stores and Commercial Staff General Union, was released on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Hong Kong government is expected to announce details of a high-profile campaign to boost the nighttime economy.
For the 1,862 respondents who participated in the survey from Aug 24 to Sept 1, the most attractive features of night markets were food, followed by retail, and then live performances.
Regarding to the establishment of night markets, 73.6 percent of respondents expressed concerns about the convenience of the locations and transportation, followed by prices, and the hygiene of the markets’ environments.
Over 80 percent of interviewees said they were happy to visit night markets when traveling on the Chinese mainland or overseas regions.
Additionally, 13 percent of respondents expressed their opposition to the establishment of night markets, citing concerns primarily related to hygiene and noise issues.
Chung Pok-man, the union’s general officer, pointed out that the travel habits of Chinese mainland tourists, who represent the largest number of tourists in Hong Kong, have shifted from a focus on consumption to “cultural tourism” activities.
In terms of the arrangements for setting up night markets, the union recommends establishing long-term markets that can gradually develop into tourist attractions while also providing a space for young people to operate a business or perform on stage.
Chung also advised the government to alleviate the rental burden on operators, which would not only help control the price of goods in the market, but would also help the operators accumulate entrepreneurial experience.
As for transportation, Chung said many overnight bus services are already well-established. However, he hopes the MTR’s operating hours can be extended to provide greater convenience for consumers supporting the night economy.
He also suggested that the authorities could revitalize iconic attractions such as Temple Street, Sai Yeung Choi Street, and Lascar Row to further enhance Hong Kong’s attraction.
The city can also draw inspiration from renowned night markets on the Chinese mainland and overseas to attract both local residents and international tourists, he added.
Several large shopping malls have announced plans to support the government’s initiative to boost the nighttime economy. On Monday, Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park also announced they would extend their opening hours on selected dates to enrich consumers’ nighttime entertainment experience with a more diverse range of activities.