Tourists tired of shopping till they drop in Hong Kong will soon be offered some unconventional options.
These include sampling the city's most famous street snacks, learning to make traditional delicacies in a centuries-old fishing village - and even a cross-border cycling trip to a world heritage site.
They are among fresh packages to be put together by tour agencies and co-funded by the Tourism Board.
Board executive director Anthony Lau Chun-hon said yesterday that seven of 15 applications for money from a fund set up by the board to develop new packages had been approved.
Each will be offered a matching grant of up to HK$500,000.
"There will be a HK$200 to HK$300 package for tourists to learn how to make traditional handicraft and gourmet items in Tai O [on Lantau Island], food trips that explore street delicacies and Michelin-starred restaurants, and a cooking class based on goods bought from the wet market," Lau said.
One of the agencies was planning to offer a cycling trip to the Unesco-listed village of Kaiping in Guangdong, known for its diaolou village houses that mix Western and Chinese styles.
The trip is expected to cost about HK$8,000, which would include accommodation.
Lau also said the Kai Tak cruise terminal operator was studying the possibility of providing ferry services between the terminal and Central, which he said could offer the cruise passengers a magnificent tour of the harbour.
He said the popular Wine and Dine fair formerly held on the West Kowloon cultural hub site would be moved to the open space outside Tamar, Admiralty, this year and reorganised to give it more flavour and colour.
The board was also looking at ways to improve the annual fireworks display in Victoria Harbour to celebrate New Year's Eve on December 31, including seeking new sponsorship, but Lau would not give details.
Increased international interest has been shown in the event, with 1,000 live or delayed broadcasts of the 2012-13 event compared with about 500 broadcasts the previous year.
The board was also looking at the possibility of holding dragon boat races in waterfront districts other than Tsim Sha Tsui, where they are usually held.