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Hong Kong aims for 3.7 million visitors during two month Shopping Festival

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 26 June 2004

With the Hong Kong Shopping Festival officially launched tonight, the city has begun its summer-long shopping frenzy and festivities.

Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), Mrs Chow, promised that the two-months long Festival would extend beyond the delights of shopping to include dining, entertainment and celebrations that created an unforgettable 'total experience' for visitors. It would also provide an excellent business platform to further stimulate tourism-related industries.

"We are extremely pleased that the retail and catering sectors have supported the Tourism Board in such strength for the Festival," said Mrs Chow. "When we first staged a similar event two years ago, 2,200 outlets participated in the event. This year, some 6,300 outlets have confirmed their participation. Among them, 3,100 will operate until at least 10:00 pm to tie in with our late-night shopping and dining theme. In addition, over 1,000 outlets accredited under the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) scheme have undertaken to provide special privileges to visitors."

Guests at the launch enjoyed the premiere of Aqua Fantasia, the anchor event of the Festival. This world-class multimedia water show is one of a host of themed activities and entertainment that visitors can enjoy on top of the many shopping and dining offers during the Festival period. "Along with the decorations around Clock Tower, it highlights the endless fun and excitement in Hong Kong and makes Tsim Sha Tsui the focus of the festivities," Mrs Chow remarked.

With the world-renowned Victoria Harbour and its night-time vistas as backdrop, Aqua Fantasia deploys leading multimedia technology. Different images of Hong Kong are projected on both sides of a water screen. Together with music, 360-degree visual effects created by colour lasers, water curtains and the walls of Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Aqua Fantasia fully showcases the non-stop energy and vibrancy that defines Hong Kong.

Starting from tonight and until 31 August, the show will be staged nightly at 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, with each performance lasting about 12 minutes. Special pyrotechnics will be arranged for the 9:30 pm show during Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. In addition, interactive elements will be added during weekends and public holidays. Visitors can press the buttons of an "interactive fountain" to arrange their preferred fountain patterns based on different rhythms.

Aqua Fantasia will create a stunning spectacle that is complemented by A Symphony of Lights and the Avenue of Stars. Together these attractions fronting Victoria Harbour will enrich visitors' experience. Between 30 June and 4 July, additional pyrotechnic effects will be included in A Symphony of Lights, adding even greater appeal to Tsim Sha Tsui and Hong Kong.

The four major shopping themes of the Festival are: Fashion & Beauty, Jewellery & Watches, Consumer Electronics and Chinese Traditions. To create a citywide festive ambience, the HKTB is promoting activities staged by various parties during the Festival period. In addition to special programmes such as product displays put together by trade organisations, different food districts are taking turns to stage food festivals and many outlets are offering special visitor menus.

To create even more incentive for visitors to spend, the HKTB is organising a Lucky Draw that features 56 fabulous prizes worth more than HK$2.5 million in total. For every spending of HK$300 or more on a single receipt at the participating merchants or restaurants, the purchaser can collect one lucky draw entry coupon at the redemption counters located around the city.

"With tremendous support from the global travel trade and media, we are confident that we can attract 3.7 million visitors during the Festival period," Mrs Chow said. "We strongly encourage our retail and catering merchants to leverage on the business platform created by the Festival. We also urge our local residents to join our efforts and be a good host to our visitors so as to strengthen our reputation as a hospitable destination."

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