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Mobile payments

Hong Kong Space Museum should push the frontiers with online ticketing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 August, 2018, 6:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 August, 2018, 6:00am

On August 3, I took my eight-year-old son to the Space Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui where we became interested in watching the sky show “In Search of Cosmic Life” at the Stanley Ho Space Theatre. Apparently, we were in good company, as a long line had formed outside the box office for the show.

To avoid the sweltering weather, I tried to buy the tickets online via Urbtix, but online ticketing had closed one hour before the show. As the customers waiting in line were all holding smartphones, the Space Museum should have kept the online ticketing system open and encouraged everyone waiting in the heat to buy their tickets using the Urbtix smartphone app.

According to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, 420,000 tickets were sold for the Space Theatre shows in 2017, among which only around 20 per cent were purchased through the Urbtix website or smartphone app.

To further promote the use of Urbtix, the department should eliminate the HK$8 handling fee which the contractor Cityline charges customers. The department should also consider partnering with companies more competent in smart advertising and big data technologies to offer discounts.

Why Hong Kong venues lag mainland China on e-ticketing

In response to my inquiry, the department said that online ticketing is closed an hour before shows in order to allow customers to buy the tickets at the box office. Since online purchase is far more convenient and comfortable, the Space Museum should gradually phase out the bricks-and-mortar box office to spare customers the trouble of waiting in bad weather and also to save manpower.

To better serve tourists, Urbtix should also accept a wider variety of mobile payment methods, and collaborate with these companies for smart marketing of cultural event tickets.

Simon Wang, Kowloon Tong