Zip-line operator still hopes Ngong Ping venture will be approved
Adventure operator plans to resubmit pitch to take riders high above Lantau valleys after rebuff by park advisers this week
Zip-line operator Flying Fox has reaffirmed its determination to bring its tourist attraction to the North Lantau Country Park despite an objection from the government's park advisers.
Co-founder Jonathan Walter said yesterday that the company planned to submit its proposal again after reading the minutes from Wednesday's meeting of the Country and Marine Park Board when they are posted online.
Flying Fox has not yet made any amendments to its plan, which was criticised by board members as inappropriate use of a country park. But Walter said that after reading the minutes the company would consult a range of interested parties including green groups, hiking groups and local residents to "fine-tune" the proposal.
The Tourism Commission, which had backed the initiative, said: "We note that Flying Fox will further fine-tune its zip-line proposal taking into account Country and Marine Park Board's comments and explore other possible locations on Lantau to implement the scheme.
"We will be happy to consider its revised proposal when available."
He also said the company, which already operates three zip lines in India, remains "committed to Lantau" and will work with cable car operator Ngong Ping 360 to look at alternative sites nearby if it cannot have its chosen site near the cable car.
If the attraction - which would whisk riders high above Lantau valleys suspended from a wire - is approved, the Ngong Ping 360 operator would become partners with Flying Fox by sharing amenities, ticketing services and marketing.
One board member has suggested Flying Fox move to Victoria Peak.
Walter said that while a site on The Peak could be more lucrative, Ngong Ping was chosen because of the strikingly beautiful views and infrastructure already established for the cable car.
Walter reiterated that despite board members' view that it would require six hectares of the country park, the actual space required was 0.26 hectares, including the four launch and landing platforms which would occupy 320 square metres.
"We don't require the land underneath, we simply fly over it," he said.
Board members argued that there was no precedent for allowing use of government land in a country park for a commercial activity such as the zip line, which will charge users HK$195.
But Walter disagreed, saying there were 28 zip lines in government parks in Britain and that the Canadian government approved the rides within national parks as part of a guided interpretative tour.