Tourism Impacts on New Cruise Terminal at Kai Tak
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Hong Kong in Chinese literally translates into “Fragrant Harbour”. Victoria Harbour is the heart and soul of Hong Kong, which is famous as being one of the world’s greatest commercial and trading centres. Its natural harbour is capable to support even the largest ships because of its natural depth of more than 50 feet.
Hong Kong will start building its new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal next year in the hopes of developing into a premier cruise hub in the region. It seems a new role has been found for the old Kai Tak airport in the heart of Hong Kong. Keeping it's role as an arrival and departure point for travellers.
The Hong Kong government is interested in developing facilities to maintain and strengthen the economy. The new cruise terminal will allow Hong Kong contend for the position of being “The Miami of the East”. Hong Kong already has the major factors which draw tourists to travel- a dizzying array of shopping arcades and the natural beauty of Hong Kong’s harbour and mountains. The cruise industry could be a huge market that Hong Kong may increase the amount of money spent by tourists on housing, eating, and enjoying what the city has to offer.
In 1924, the Kai Tak site was owned by Ho Kai and Au Tak, who planned to build private housing. The plan failed and the reclaimed piece of land was given to the government. Kai Tak was used by the Royal Air Force until 1936, when it was transformed into an airport. Kai Tak International Airport closed in 1998, due to the Chek Lap Kok, a larger Hong Kong International Airport, was constructed in its place.
The idea of the development of the new cruise terminal in Kai Tak is to achieve a world-class Harbour District, because of the limited land available around the Victoria Harbour which optimised to provide a vibrant, active and accessible foreshore catering for both residents and tourists.
On 30 September 2008, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has announced the decision to finance the development of New Cruise Terminals at Kai Tak (“New Cruise Terminal”) and which to ensure that the first stage would begin operation in mid-2013. Under this development approach, the Government will design and build the cruise terminal and lease the terminal hardware to a cruise terminal operator for a rent, while retaining ownership of the site and the terminal.
Currently the Kai Tak site is an inaccessible wasteland. The entire area is fenced off from the public and seems separated from the rest of Hong Kong. The government is currently gathering a public consensus on the development of Kai Tak through a three stage public participation plan. The government has published a Public Consultation Digest and held three public forums, a community workshop, exhibitions of consultation and discussion subjects, and relevant consultation materials have been displayed in the Planning Department Mobile Exhibition Centre and Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery.
The government proposed the development of a new cruise terminal to support as well as upgrade facilities and increase the tourism industry. The current cruise terminal Western Kowloon is not able to handle the capacity necessary for a larger cruise industry. The current facility only has two ports of call and is a homeport. A homeport is essential for developing a major cruise terminal because it is where a cruise starts and ends. Homeports encourage tourists to arrive a few days earlier or to leave a few days later, spending more time at the homeport city. This will benefit hotels, retail outlets, and tourism as a whole in Hong Kong. In addition, the Central Government introduced a measure in April to allow Mainland tour groups...