The number of visitors coming to Hong Kong continues to rise. A little over 12 million people visited Hong Kong in the first five months of 2008, an increase of 9.5 per cent from a year ago, according to the Tourism Board. In May, the number of arrivals rose 6.3 per cent year on year to 2,342,146. However, fewer visitors stayed overnight or longer. Visitors from mainland China continues to dominate the numbers with more than half of total visitors (55%), at 1,290,806, up 6.4 per cent. Other top visitors came from South Korea, India and Russia. Declines were recorded from Britain, the US, South Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Middle East and some European markets.
So when we see a Caucasian visitor, now he is more likely to be Russian than British or American than our past observations.
The Ngong Ping saga continues with technical problems mainly the culprit. And when the problem was apparently solved, the brewing storm from the south put a damper on everyone who wished they could finally take the ride. I myself had that experience way back middle of last year, when I first attempted to make the ride. But when one car fell into the ground, it sparked alarms of reliability and promptly closed the tourist attraction for a while.
The long suspension of the sky rail rides is discouraging for excited ones, but a good way to review what had been wrong and remedy them. The problem is that when everyone thought all is well, new problems showed up. Again the management did the right thing to suspend operations than risk lives of excited people in a precarious situation.
There were compromises like free rides to children. I hope the children weren't used as crash test dummies.
I have an outstanding offer from my officemate Ginny to get a free ride but for now I'm saying no. Embarrassing to say no to her but I think this isn't the right time to take Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. Maybe next time. Maybe never.