It was a good start for the Lantau cable car service for 2008, with almost 8,900 riders venturing out on a chilly New Year's Day. This number was nearly 2,000 visitors more than reopening day on Monday. Round-trip tickets were sold out by 3.30pm and the longest wait in the queue for a ride was an hour. Ngong Ping 360 managing director Morris Cheung Siu-wah, who was satisfied with the smooth operation yesterday, said the cut-off time for ticket sales was to ensure visitors could return to Tung Chung on time. Tenants at Ngong Ping Village said the cable car's reopening had attracted more local visitors to shop and their businesses had recovered better than expected. They also hoped more advertisements and promotions would be done in overseas markets to attract more foreign tourists. Kelcy Hahn and his family, who were visiting from the United States and made their first visit to the cable car yesterday morning, said they enjoyed the ride. 'I was a bit nervous, but it was quite nice,' Mr Hahn said. 'But it's funny that there's Starbucks and 7-Eleven here, I thought it would be a village.' Many foreign tourists were not aware the cable car had just reopened after it had been closed for six months because a gondola had fallen 50 metres during a test. This failed to faze some visitors, including Mark Baker and his family who live in Japan. They had visited the Big Buddha earlier in the week, but decided to make a second visit to ride the cable car. 'We knew it was closed but didn't know why,' Mr Baker said 'We saw it and thought it would be a fun thing to do.' Alex Williams, who is visiting Hong Kong for the second time from Australia, arrived at the Tung Chung terminal yesterday morning for her first ride on the cable car. She was stunned after discovering the reason for the cable car's closure. 'Why are you telling me now?' she said. 'But I'll still go because I've already paid.' However, Ms Williams had only positive remarks on the ride after arriving at the village. 'It was great, it's nice,' she said. 'I still have the trip back, so fingers crossed.' Coupon promotions had also been a boon for their businesses, Ngong Ping Village tenants said. 'It's better than what I expected,' said Judy Cheung, who sells woodcraft and jewellery. Another tenant, Tim Cheung Kwok-wah, said there were more local visitors shopping. 'People had a strong urge to shop in these two days, almost 50 per cent of them made purchases,' he said. 'And a lot of them used the coupons.' Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang said visitor confidence had gradually recovered and the result of the reopening was quite good in such cold weather.