Here’s a reminder that Lantau’s natural beauty and ecosystem are tourism’s best friend, not its enemy as the government and supporters seem to believe.
Ngong Ping 360 is running a butterfly-themed family promotion over the summer, taking advantage of the presence of Lantau’s 100-plus butterflies species. As well as butterfly-watching, there’s a workshop on taking wildlife photos, another on “butterfly art” a dance performance, and so on.
“We would also like visitors to understand the ecology of Lantau so that they may treasure the natural environment even more,” said Ngong Ping 360 marketing head Vivien Lee. Continue reading
Highlights from submission to the Development Bureau (full submission here).
No Vision, No Data, No Conservation
The decision-making process on Lantau’s future appears to be explicitly designed to exclude community input. From day one LanDAC membership has been almost wholly drawn from the real estate, tourist and logistics industries, along with government political supporters and appointees. The public rightly doubts the genuineness of this ‘consultation.’
The government plan offers no vision for the island: what will it be like to visit, live or work in Lantau in 2026, 2036 or beyond? The report doesn’t say. At the same time it tries to micro-manage tourist development in ways that are counter-productive. Continue reading
Visitor traffic to Ngong Ping 360, one of Lantau’s biggest tourist draws, fell 11% last year, while the number of mainland tourists to Lantau posted an even sharper decline.
Just 1.62m people took the cable car or visited Ngong Ping in west Lantau, down from 1.83m in 2014 and 1.67m in 2013. However, because the number of operating days was also down due to weather conditions and maintenance, the decline in visitors per day was just 3.6%, Ngong Ping 360 said in a statement.
Just 469,800 mainland and Macau visitors took the cable car last year, 17% below the 2014 level and accounting for three-fifths of last year’s decline in overall numbers. Continue reading
Improving the “balance” between development and conservation has been a government priority in Lantau planning, Development Secretary Paul Chan told an interviewer this week.
The LanDAC report reveals just how well that balance has been struck. The report, issued ten days ago, uses the word ‘develop’ 126 times. ‘Conservation’ appears just 20 times.
It appears that the purpose of Lantau development is development. The language is telling; we could have had a Committee for Lantau’s Future, the Lantau Sustainable Development Committee or even the Let’s Make Lantau Fabulous Committee. Continue reading
The Pui O beach camping ground is still being used as a cheap hotel for mainland visitors, a Ming Pao report reveals.
The normally-tranquil seaside campsite was the scene of a minor riot during October ‘Golden Week’ three years ago after being overwhelmed by mainlanders seeking low-cost accommodation. The site had been promoted on mainland travel forums as a free hotel.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Dept has since put down rules giving Hong Kongers priority in camping areas during key period such as Chinese New Year and the October holiday. But a Ming Pao reporter on the trail over the Christmas holiday period found obvious examples of abuse. Continue reading