New cruise terminal before 2011
Hong Kong will likely have a new cruise terminal before 2011 to cater for the rapid growth of the industry, tourism officials say - and they will decide its location soon.
While the government considers Kai Tak the ideal location for a new terminal in the long term, it is prepared to consider alternative sites in the medium term, and officials are considering six expressions of interest received from developers last year - for terminals at Hunghom, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kai Tak.
'The community has agreed there should be a new cruise terminal before 2011, and we are examining the six suggestions,' Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Maisie Cheng Mei-sze said yesterday.
The government has said that if none of the suggestions meet its requirements, it will go ahead and develop a new terminal at Kai Tak.
Commissioner for Tourism Au King-chi said the number of cruise passengers from the mainland and India was expected to increase rapidly in the next 10 to 20 years, and Hong Kong wanted a share of that market.
She also said the cruise ship SuperStar Leo would return to Hong Kong next year from Hawaii - a reflection of Star Cruises' confidence in the mainland market.
Meanwhile, Miss Au said 50 buses would be on stand by to carry visitors down from Ngong Ping to Tung Chung if high winds forced the new Lantau cable car line to stop running.
'The cable car line will not be closed under the typhoon signal No3. It will only shut if winds exceed 90km/h,' Miss Au said.
The cable car is expected to carry 15,000 passengers on its first day and between 50,000 and 80,000 passengers in its first week. It is forecast to attract 1.5 million visitors a year.