Tourists would like convenient lockers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 September, 2001, 12:00am

The Government intends to spend $18 billion to promote tourism.

Despite their bold plans, officials continue to neglect the basic needs of visitors - facilities that could make our local communities more tourist friendly. The Government has promised to meet these needs but has never made good on its promises.

An example of this neglect is the absence of coin-operated lockers at MTR stations. Such lockers are a common sight in other parts of the world.

For example, when I was travelling in Japan, it was safe and convenient for me to place my belongings in these lockers in the morning and pick them up again at night before returning to my hotel or hostel.

The lockers offered a simple solution for travellers who did not want to carry a lot of stuff around with them during the day. If they were installed in MTR stations, they would provide an extra source of income for the MTR Corporation, which keeps saying it needs to raise fares.

Why doesn't a service like this exist in Hong Kong? Some critics might argue there would be a security problem, but there are so many people in MTR stations that it would be difficult for thieves to break in without being noticed. Also, MTR staff could be assigned to keep an eye on the area where the lockers were located.

I hope a pilot scheme can be implemented in at least several stations as soon as possible, to test the effectiveness of this scheme. We should be doing whatever we can to help attract visitors to the SAR.