Hong Kong should dedicate a day to promote Victoria Harbour featuring activities such as international boat races to boost visitor interest, local officials have urged. In a paper submitted to a task force of the Harbourfront Commission, the Development Bureau rolled out ideas for a branding campaign for the waterfront area, one of the city’s long-standing landmarks. Plan for new harbourfront study sparks anger of advisers The bureau said a publicity campaign should start nurturing visitors after years of efforts were made to build “hardware” such as promenades and open spaces to make the harbour more accessible and vibrant. “We believe that attention to these ‘software’ qualities is as crucial for the success of our waterfront projects as the ‘hardware’,” the paper stated. The bureau anticipated members of the public would contribute ideas as to what activities should be organised to make the places lively and enjoyable. An initial idea, it suggested, would be a Harbour Day in which visitors and locals could gather on land and at sea for different activities, including international ship or boat races. Hong Kong government pledges better-run Avenue of Stars The bureau further proposed making better use of the new harbourfront in Central – part of which is now under construction and the rest completed – to hold large-scale outdoor events. A systematic branding exercise is needed Ivan Ho, Harbourfront Commission task force A photo competition could also be organised to collect images from the public to build an archive. A campaign is to be rolled out early next year. The task force will meet on Thursday to discuss the plan. Task force member and architect Ivan Ho Man-yiu said he and other advisers agreed the government should carry out more publicity. “We have done so much to improve access and build so many open spaces around our harbour all these years,” Ho explained. “Now it’s time to connect the visitors and bring them back to the waterfront. A systematic branding exercise is needed.” Past projects had been led by engineers, he added, and it was time to bring in the community and other talented professionals to draw up a publicity strategy.