HK GOV'T BANKS ON NIGHTLIFE SECTOR TO REVIVE THE CITY'S VIBE
By Susan Lewis
Credit: Kirk Lai/Unsplash
The Hong Kong government is hoping that free alcohol and longer shopping hours can revive the city’s night economy and help boost post-COVID recovery.
Hong Kong media reports said that the government has been in discussions with the hospitality and property sectors to encourage them to roll out more measures to boost the city’s once-bustling night economy.
Some property firms and hospitality groups will distribute drinks and shopping vouchers and hold night time events in response.
Sino Land is planning to distribute 10,000 vouchers for free drinks for people who spend a certain amount of money at its malls after 8pm.
Lan Kwai Fong Holdings, which owns the bulk of Hong Kong’s largest pubs district, will offer flash discounts on some weekday evenings in September and set up street performances.
Henderson Land Development plans to give out shopping vouchers, while New World Development is considering to extend its malls’ operating hours and hosting events at night time to attract customers.
Chinachem Group is hosting a three-day music festival at Central Market, a historic building near the heart of the financial district. The venue, which currently closes at 10pm, will ask bars to stay open until midnight for the event.
This year was meant to be Hong Kong’s grand reopening to the world after COVID restrictions were scrapped and cross-border travel with mainland China fully resumed.
But the government’s “Hello Hong Kong” campaign to attract tourists is falling flat and instead Hong Kong residents are flocking to countries like Thailand and Japan or splashing their cash on day trips to Shenzhen across the border in mainland China.
The city’s tourist arrivals in the first half of this year were about 37 percent of pre-pandemic levels, compared with 57 percent for casino hub Macau, according to official statistics.
Under pressure, the Hong Kong government has recently turned their attention to reviving the city’s night economy.
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