Cheaper holiday ferry fares will bring more visitors to Mui Wo
I refer to the report ('Island ferry travellers hit by HK$4 fare rise', March 26).
I chose to live in Mui Wo because my family wished to get away from the city life and enjoy peaceful and natural surroundings. My two daughters are over 12 and attend schools on Hong Kong Island. They pay the full adult fare, as New World First Ferry does not provide any fare concessions to pupils. We are totally amazed that the government could approve this increase.
I fear that with this rise we could well see Mui Wo being turned into a ghost town.
During holidays, instead of raising fares, the ferry operator should be offering a discount in an effort to increase the volume of travellers to and from Mui Wo. This would lead to greater demand for recreational activities and other services in the town and provide an economic boost.
I do believe in the claim that Hong Kong is a city full of buzz. But Mui Wo is so easy to reach and it can help people, at weekends and public holidays, to release the stress that has built up. The government should beautify Mui Wo by improving existing facilities and properly maintaining historical sites in order to attract more visitors. Further, by relaxing restaurant and bar restrictions, such as allowing outdoor seating, it would get more people to come to the island.
The central government leadership has urged the chief executive to help the underprivileged ('Wen urges HK to care for poor and vulnerable', March 15). Given the huge surplus in the Hong Kong government's coffers, it should be providing subsidies to ferry routes, given that they are an essential form of transport.
Also, with financial support from the administration, the farmland in Mui Wo could be better utilised and this would encourage the production of local produce. This would be a great opportunity to educate the next generation about the importance of organic farming and recycling.
Nicholas Botelho, Lantau