Map to guide people out of shopping malls

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2005, 12:00am

A new effort was launched yesterday to get visitors and residents out of the shopping malls and into the rest of Hong Kong.

To help them, a guide map has been published with 55 nature and cultural destinations as alternatives to dining, shopping and visiting Disneyland.

The attractions range from the popular venue of The Peak to the Shing Mun Reservoir at Kwai Chung, outlying islands such as Cheung Chau and the spectacular beaches of Tai Long Wan in the Sai Kung country park.

The map was prepared by the Hong Kong Business Environmental Council and the Coalition on Sustainable Tourism, with sponsorship from the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation and Kowloon Motor Bus.

It is the latest in a series of moves by tourism chiefs to promote Hong Kong as an eco-tourism destination as well as a world city and shoppers' paradise. Eco-tourism Awareness Group chairman David Man Tai-wai said it was time residents joined tourists in more healthy leisure pursuits.

'People should not only stay in air-conditioned malls and restaurants,' said Mr Man, a veteran travel agent. 'They've got to go out and put their feet on the earth. There is much wisdom and intelligence in the sea and on the hill.'

Group deputy chairwoman Kathy Lam Kwun-yi said eco-tourism would be a key growth area in Hong Kong.

'When people get off the plane, the maps in the airport always tell them where to go shopping or eating,' Ms Lam said.

'However, few know that Hong Kong is far more than a metropolis, that there are country parks, rugged hills, spectacular coastline and old villages where visitors can simply relax and enjoy [the surroundings].

'These hidden treasures are simply overlooked. We hope the map can change the way people perceive Hong Kong.'