Hong Kong is said to be speeding up plans to build a shopping hub at the border in a bid to alleviate the pressure and inconvenience brought about by a surge in mainland tourists, am730 reported Monday.
China Travel Service (HK) Ltd. (CTSHK) is believed to be a partner in the project, which will see a 420,000-square feet site right outside the Lok Ma Chau cross-boundary bus service area turned into an air-conditioned trading fair that will be open all year long.
The new shopping facility could commence operation as soon as the May golden week holiday in 2015, as a three-year short-term lease on the site has been granted by the Hong Kong government, the report said.
CTSHK could become the largest investor in the project, the idea for which has been tossed around by the Hong Kong government last year to serve some of the incoming mainland tourists right at the border and reduce congestion in the city.
According to DAB legislative councilor Wong Ting-kwong, mainland visitors coming to Hong Kong via the Lok Ma Chau port could opt to shop at the new facility using a shuttle bus service.
Wong added that the proposal has the support of Heung Yee Kuk, Hong Kong’s rural council, as it expects the new commercial establishments to create jobs for people in the north district.
At present, the site is being rented by a state-owned firm as warehouse and car park. The landlord has reportedly agreed to offer an alternative plot for the state-owned firm to continue its operation, leaving the current site open for construction of the new shopping facility, the report said.
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