Transport and logistics

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is winning on numbers, but better road links would help

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 6:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 10:45am

We would like to reply to Alex Lo’s opinion piece, “Someone must make sure the numbers add up” (June 21). As per the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal website, government announcements and other open sources, total Hong Kong cruise passenger throughput in 2017 was already at the high end of the government’s projections for the year 2023.

Cruise throughput in Hong Kong has grown close to five times since 2013, when the Kai Tak terminal opened. According to government data, over 780,000 passengers used the cruise terminal in 2017, which was 85 per cent of the Hong Kong total. It was also more than the three other Pearl River Delta cruise terminals combined.

Last year, the cruise terminal also reduced its carbon output per passenger by 52 per cent year on year, and reduced passenger “slip and trip” cases by 50 per cent at the same time that throughput doubled. These factors all contributed to our winning the biennial Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport award for service excellence (SME division), and many other green and corporate social responsibility awards.

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal’s usage rate well exceeds that of many other dedicated leisure facilities. It is year-round traffic, on average every other day, which is rare and enviable for a cruise terminal.

We applaud the government’s recent initial release of land for sale in the former runway area near the cruise terminal. Currently the nearest inhabited building is 2km away; more nearby development will support increased transport links and drive foot traffic in the vicinity.

Government tender for five residential plots, including one on The Peak, set to fetch US$3.5b

The lack of a road connecting the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in the south and the Kai Tak MTR station in the north presents a challenge. This road’s scheduled completion date has been delayed to 2023.

Hundreds of thousands of overseas visitors now use the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal annually. Some of these visitors will assume that the cruise terminal is adjacent to the MTR station, only to find out that they are over 3km apart, and there is no connecting road.

We urge the government to hasten the work or consider one of the alternatives that we and others have put forward. Improved road links to the station would also benefit the other nearby developments.

Jeff Bent, managing director, Worldwide Cruise Terminals