Street protests force relocation, rescheduling of tourism events

October 10, 2014 13:25
Some participants have dropped out of the Wine & Dine Festival because of security concerns. Photo:

Two of the five tourism-related events scheduled to be held in Central this month have been rescheduled or moved to another venue due to the ongoing street protests, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

The four-day Wine & Dine Festival, the most prominent among the five events organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), was supposed to take place at the Central Harbourfront Event Space starting Oct. 30. But in view of the Occupy campaign, the venue has been moved to the Kai Tak district in Kowloon, according to the newspaper.

As some winemakers have decided to drop out of the event due to security concerns, HKTB will allow free admission for participants and offer a 40 percent discount on booth rentals.

Meanwhile, the three-day HK Classic Car & Vintage Festival, previously set to start today at the Central Harbourfront, has been rescheduled to Nov. 15-16 at the same venue, the report said.

Three other events will take place in Central as scheduled. These are the Lan Kwai Fong Carnival set for Saturday and Sunday, the MTR Hong Kong Race Walking on Oct. 26 and the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, which is scheduled to open by the end of the month.

Many owners of tourism-related businesses fear that the street protests may extend until Christmas. The HKTB was scheduled to meet on Friday with representatives of affected business establishments to discuss the situation and map out alternative plans.

Michael Wu, chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, said he is most worried that the Occupy campaign might create a negative impression for Hong Kong globally, similar to what Thailand had suffered as a result of the recent political unrest in the country.

He said if tourists choose not to come to Hong Kong during the Christmas holidays because of the situation, they might also not come in the following four to six months.

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