Forget Disney Land. Why pay a fortune to have giant smiley rodents overrun our prettiest island? Can't someone come up with a better way to drum up tourism? Enter, Franklin Wong. He claims to have come up with a better, cheaper alternative - one that allows Hong Kong to exploit its natural beauty. Mr Wong calls it 'Airship-for-tourism'. OK, we know what you're thinking. You're thinking who the hell is this Franklin Wong and why am I reading about him? Well Lai See happens to believe that Franklin Wong represents the Hong Kong Dream. A dream that starts with one simple idea. An idea that could become a multimillion business and send Hong Kong tourism figures skyward. Literally. In blimps. This particular dream arrived on our desk in the form of a letter typed on a genuine, old-fashioned type writer. With it came what we at first took to be a series of Grand Canyon holiday photos. They puzzled us into scanning the missive. It began with 'Your lively Lai See column undoubtedly has many many keen followers in small SAR community??' That punctuation wasn't meant as an insult. Mr Wong is fond of question marks. 'Please allow me to introduce myself as a 65 years retired but much travelled Chinese man interested in high tech subjects including aviation astronomy and Antarctic exploration etc,' said he. 'Airship-for-Tourism is a very innovative and interesting subject. I am sure many readers would be excited on seeing it as well in these dark SAR days?' Now, we know what you're thinking - that Mr Wong is just some grandpa who, in his dotage, had begun to dream strange tourism dreams. Wrong. This man is a player, working in partnership with Richard Branson himself. Well, maybe not exactly in partnership. But they are working together to promote the spread of blimps in Hong Kong. OK, 'working together' might be a bit strong. But letters have definitely been exchanged. Says Franklin: 'About six months ago I started correspondence to Sir Richard Branson of 'Virgin Group PLC' in UK and sought his learned views on probability to launch an Airship for SAR tourist industry.' The two aviation experts concluded that this was the answer to Hong Kong's woes. Blimps provide a much cheaper alternative to the Disney theme park, as we can get our hands on 190-foot airships for the bargain price of US$5 million. Mr Wong tells us he has only just returned from a nine-day Las Vegas trip, where he flew in Sir Richard's newly launched 'Lightship A-150' airship. Hence those aerial photos of the Grand Canyon. On the back of one view he has written 'Could be Airship sight of China's Great Wall or Three Gorges or SAR Islands (must be EXCITING).' There's also an aerial photo of Las Vegas by night. Scrawled across the back are the words 'Splendour of airship. Seeing SAR Hong Kong TOO at night?' And on another: 'Airship may herald the dawn of SAR tourism rise to prominence. Wait and see.' Mr Wong has been hard at work striving to turn his dream into reality. He has examined scores of blimp catalogues from scores of American, British and German builders. 'I made $200 worth of photo copies here to send to 'key people' in SAR Government and tycoons to interest them on this innovative investment venue,' he says. Mr Wong tells us that $200 figure is based on 5R colour photos, a dozen for each key person. Among the photos is a picture of the Antarctic explorer himself, posing beside a Grand Canyon tour plane. 'Will you care to help?' the letter asks. Lai See decided he looked like the Sweetest Man Alive, and determined to ensure that his efforts and $200 didn't vanish unnoticed. Sounds like the Hong Kong Tourist Association should hire him. Many's the time their inflated tourism plans have failed to take off or have burst. And they have plenty of hot air.