Hong Kong's big-investment tourist attraction triumvirate is complete today with the launching of Lantau's Ngong Ping 360 cable car. With Disneyland and Ocean Park, the 5.7km ride across the largely unspoiled island to the Big Buddha will be another memorable moment for visitors to take home and share with friends, who will then, it is hoped, want to come and see the attractions for themselves. Getting the ride right has been the reason the launch is three months late. A serious service disruption in June, a week before the scheduled opening, gave cause for alarm - and rightly so, given that 1.5 million people are expected to take the 25-minute each-way trip each year. More such mishaps would not only damage the reputation of the attraction but also harm our reputation for efficiency and safety. Reputations take years to build, but can be lost through a moment of negligence. Hong Kong has invested much in promoting itself and the dividends are now in the billions of dollars each year; they are too valuable to our economic health to be squandered. But tourism is not just about attractions that get people through entrance gates and into souvenir shops; it is about making a place worth visiting and ensuring that the experience translates into people coming back and, through word-of-mouth, their relatives and friends also making the trip. Hotels, restaurants, shops and transport providers are among the businesses that also benefit. In Hong Kong's case, that means ensuring that the parts of the city in between the attractions are as attractive as possible. That means focusing on the environment. We have not done well on this score and although Hong Kong's pollution has not as yet translated into a decline in tourist numbers, it is likely to without sustained effort. Air quality is the top priority, but cleaning up Victoria Harbour and retaining the city's green spaces is also important. A visit to The Peak is worthless if the view below is shrouded by an impenetrable pall of smog. Taking the Star Ferry across the harbour is made less enjoyable by the polluted water on all sides. The New Territories will be viewed as best avoided rather than to be seen if litter covers the countryside. Similarly, Ngong Ping 360 is more than a cable car ride. It is as much about seeing a side of Hong Kong that few get to appreciate: the dramatic hills and relatively untouched landscape of Lantau Island. For those curious about what the city looked like before concrete and steel predominated, here is a contrasting, not-to-be-forgotten snapshot to cherish and take back to countries of origin to share. Lantau is justifiably described as Hong Kong's 'lung'. Despite the arrival of Discovery Bay, the airport, Tung Chung new town and Disneyland, the largest of our outlying islands remains predominantly green. But those wide-open spaces also make it attractive for development and there is constant pressure to make use of those assets to boost our growth. Tung Chung is a salient example, mushrooming from a village with a historic fort to a busy new town of skyscrapers. The government's blueprint for the island's development, expected to be considered by the Legislative Council in coming months, contains numerous controversial proposals. Among the suggestions are a logistics park, golf course, entertainment centre, another theme park and resorts. Separately, the government is also looking at construction of a container terminal there. There is a good likelihood that the outcome of the process will eventually be visible from Lantau's new cable car. Environmentally friendly or not, those projects will be in view of perhaps 1.5 million tourists, to be assessed and commented on and taken home as memories. With this in mind, the government has a duty to keep development of Lantau balanced, just as it must elsewhere in Hong Kong. There is, after all, more at stake than just the profits of a few companies.