With Christmas and the New Year approaching, representatives of various policy bureaux of the Hong Kong government held an inter-departmental and cross-sector meeting with representatives from different industries such as catering and retail on Thursday (7th) to discuss the co-ordination of encouraging local consumption. The Chairman of the Quality Tourism Services Association, Wong Kit-lung, who attended the meeting, revealed today (8th) that the HKTB intends to extend the $100 dining voucher provided to tourists to Hong Kong residents for restaurants under the "Quality Tourism Services" scheme after 6pm, but the number of dining vouchers is limited.


When asked about the help of food and beverage vouchers for the industry's business, Wong described them as "helping to help", which will not improve until Hong Kong's overall economy improves: "(Distributing food and beverage vouchers) is like hitting a sparrow and throwing it off, and if you throw it off, it will become beautiful immediately, but wait slowly, and you will be beautiful when you are lucky."


This year, Lee Tung Street has designed a series of Christmas art installations under the theme of "The Wishing Stars". (Photo by Xia Jialang)

The Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kevin Yeung Kev-hung, said after an inter-departmental meeting on Thursday that there was a consensus at the meeting that the government would take the lead in creating an environment for various sectors to promote innovative and diversified activities and offers to attract local residents and tourists. Government departments have collaborated with the industry to promote feasible solutions in their respective areas, such as shopping malls, transport concessions, etc. From now until the Lunar New Year, the Government and the HKTB will organise fireworks, countdown and float parades to enhance public sentiment.

The chairman of the Quality Tourism Services Association, Wong Kit-lung, who attended the meeting, said on a commercial radio program today that Christmas is an important period for the catering industry, and yesterday's meeting saw that the government showed concern about the plight of the catering, retail and tourism-related industries and would support the industry. He revealed that the HKTB intends to extend the $100 dining voucher provided to tourists to Hong Kong residents for direct use at restaurants under the Quality Tourism Services Scheme after 6pm, with no "minimum spending" limit, but the number of food and beverage vouchers is limited.

Huang Jielong, Chairman of Quality Tourism Services Association. (File photo)

Huang Jielong said that macroeconomic problems should not be solved by micro methods

Wong Kit-lung predicts that the food and beverage vouchers can be "helped", but business will only improve when Hong Kong's overall economy improves: "[Distributing food and beverage vouchers] is like hitting a sparrow and throwing it off, and if you throw it off, it will become beautiful immediately, but wait slowly, and if you are lucky, you will be beautiful." Huang Jielong pointed out that the poor economy and weak local consumption power are the main problems, and stressed that macroeconomic problems should not be solved by micro methods.

Huang Jielong said that there should be no "conclusion that Shenzhen is better than Hong Kong"

Huang Jielong pointed out that the current number of Hong Kong people going to Shenzhen is actually not as many as in 2018, and many people go to Shenzhen and Hong Kong to feel that it is because local consumption is too weak, he pointed out that there should not be a "(service quality) Shenzhen is better than Hong Kong conclusion": "There are good people and bad people in Shenzhen, and Hong Kong has good people and bad people.

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