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Tang extols benefits of Skyrail

Updated at 7.05pm: Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said on Tuesday tourists coming to Hong Kong would soon be able to enjoy dramatic cable car rides on the new Skyrail system.

Mr Tang was discussing Hong Kong's latest tourism developments in Sydney as part of his Australasian tour. He is visiting Australia and New Zealand to encourage foreign investment in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta.

He said the Skyrail system would open next month on Lantau Island.

The Skyrail system, Ngong Ping 360, offers a 20-minute cable-car ride from Tung Chung, near the airport, to the Ngong Ping village, as well as the Giant Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, he explained.

'The ride will offer panoramic views of the countryside and bring visitors to our new religious-themed attraction,' Mr Tang said.

He added that the system would be managed by a world-renowned Australian company, Skyrail-ITM, which operates a cable car system in Cairns, Queensland.

Two weeks ago, the 60-hectare Wetland Park also opened in Hong Kong. It is a large conservation, education and eco-tourism facility located near Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve.

Mr Tang also mentioned that Hong Kong was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.

He said the total tourism expenditure from inbound tourism last year was over US$13.5 billion (HK$105.2 billion). Last year, the total visitor arrivals recorded was 23 million, up 7.1 per cent year-on-year.