Hong Kong is set to welcome the New Year with a grand fireworks display, the largest the city has seen in recent years. The Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that the celebration, named "New Year, New Legend," will take place on New Year's Eve, featuring an impressive 12-minute show.
Hong Kong Ready for Biggest New Year's Fireworks Display Ever
Hong Kong is bringing back its famous New Year's Eve fireworks with a show that promises to be the biggest ever. The display, organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, will light up Victoria Harbour for 12 minutes, starting at midnight. Covering a distance of 1.3km from Central to North Point, the event marks the return of the festivities after a hiatus due to social unrest and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Liu Lin, who directed the fireworks for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is the mastermind behind the show's choreography. According to the South China Morning Post, the display will celebrate the four seasons, starting with winter-themed red and green fireworks. Spring will follow with colorful flower-like patterns, then summer with beach ball-shaped designs, and finally, autumn represented by golden sparkles. The show will conclude with an array of shapes and colors, including hearts and smiley faces.
For the first time since 2018, large crowds are expected to gather along Victoria Harbour to enjoy the "East-meets-West musical" and the fireworks. The celebration aims to showcase Hong Kong's unique charm to the world. The Tourism Board has arranged five barges with 16 floats to launch the fireworks in a stunning 3D effect. The performance will be divided into five sections: a prelude, three themed scenes, and a grand finale.
Hong Kong is gearing up to present this spectacular event, which symbolizes the city's optimism and creativity. It's an opportunity to celebrate the resilience and spirit of Hong Kong's people and start the New Year with hope and joy.
Hong Kong's Ex-Leader Criticizes Tourism Efforts
Setting fun aside, former leader Leung Chun-Ying has voiced strong opinions about the city's tourism strategies. He feels the officials are not doing enough to attract tourists from mainland China. Leung, now a vice-chairman of a top political advisory body in China, shared his thoughts on social media.
In another report by SCMP, Leung criticized Hong Kong's tourism and political figures for being passive. He believes they should be more active in encouraging travelers from the south. He emphasized that tourism should not just depend on the Transport Bureau and Immigration Department.
The Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, was also a target of Leung's criticism. Yeung worked under Leung's administration from 2012 to 2017. In 2019, Leung openly criticized Yeung for handling a teacher's issue during protests.
However, the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau responded, stating they have been leading efforts to develop tourism. They are working with governments on the mainland to build a tourism brand and encourage more visitors.
Hong Kong residents have traveled a lot recently, with over 2 million outbound trips. Meanwhile, the city saw a significant number of visitors from the mainland, including a record-breaking day with over 161,000 arrivals.
Leung mentioned that cities like Shenzhen have become strong competitors for Hong Kong, offering attractive options for tourists post-pandemic. He urged Hong Kong to embrace competition to improve and grow.
In response, the MTR Corporation plans to increase train services to Shenzhen, and the Security Bureau is considering keeping more land checkpoints open 24 hours. The Airport Authority also reported that passenger traffic is nearly back to normal and expects full recovery by the end of 2024.
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