Thank you for reading the fourth issue of the LaDA Newsletter. I wish you a happy new year with good health, joy and prosperity! LaDA has already been established for five years, during which we have witnessed the Island’s transformation. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) has opened recently, while the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development is in marked progress. In North Lantau, significant infrastructure projects have been launched, including the Topside Development at HZMB’s Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, Hong Kong International Airport’s Three-Runway System and North Commercial District Development, and the Tung Chung New Town Extension. As for South Lantau, focus is placed on the conservation of valuable natural and cultural assets. We look forward to the bright and vibrant future of the Island.
The government places importance on Lantau’s development and promulgated the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint based on the overarching principle of “Development in the North, Conservation for the South”, mapping out the future development direction of Lantau Island in the short, medium and long term. The Sustainable Lantau Office was also established for the coordination, planning and implementation of various initiatives, marking an important milestone in the sustainable development of Lantau. Various stakeholders have supported and valued LaDA’s proposals to the government in the past years, including seizing opportunities for bridgehead economy, improving people’s livelihood, and developing Lantau into a smart community for living, work, business, leisure and study. Such success owes to the farsighted vision and substantial effort of the founding directors and executive groups. We are also grateful for the trust and support of our members, who have contributed to the accomplishment of LaDA in its development and work.
Moreover, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opened on 24 October 2018, bringing both opportunities and challenges to Lantau. We have made suggestions to government officials and LegCo members on improving transport, tourism and residents’ livelihood, and various government departments have been following up with our proposals actively. LaDA will continue to unite the commercial sector, residents and schools to enhance Lantau’s transport network, manage tourism planning and improve livelihood of the residents. LaDA will also continue to communicate with the government, LegCo members and various stakeholders to enhance Lantau’s attractiveness, potential, connectivity and accessibility, and follow up with the implementation of the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint.
May I express my gratitude once again for your support and concern in Lantau’s development.
LaDA had a meeting with LegCo members on 23 November 2018 in the Legislative Council Complex to share views on improving Lantau’s traffic condition after the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB). Officers that attended the meeting include LegCo members Mr. Yiu Si-wing, Mr. Chan Han-pan, Mr. Holden Chow Ho-ding, Mr. Frankie Yick Chi-ming, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Dr. Bernard Chan Pak-Li, Under Secretary for Transport and Housing Dr. Raymond So Wai-man, and officers from the Transport Department and Tourism Commission.
LaDA Chairman Mr. Vincent Chua first gave a presentation on behalf of the Alliance. He identified certain problems that exist after the HZMB opened, the main concern being congestion at Tung Chung city centre. He then proposed solutions from two perspectives: transport planning and tourism arrangement. One of the proposed transport solutions was to adjust or add new Lantau bus routes to ensure sufficient transport means for residents to commute between Tung Chung and the Boundary Crossing Facilities (BCF) for work. Regarding tourism arrangement, it was suggested that the government allocate more resources to promote Lantau tourism in order to divert tourists visiting Tung Chung. Also, LaDA reiterated the importance of speeding up BCF development to attract tourists and suggested setting up pop-up stores at the BCF to divert tourists in the short term.
LegCo members and government officials have responded to LaDA’s concerns and suggestions. Officers from the Transport Department stated that various measures have been implemented a few weeks after the HZMB opening to improve congestion problems. For instance, application time for cross-boundary coaches has been reduced to divert passengers taking the B6 bus connecting the BCF and Tung Chung. Legislator Mr. Yiu Si-wing said that he would contact the Tourism Commission to investigate the problems and establish measures for promoting Lantau tourism resources, for instance designing Lantau tourist maps and leaflets for the public to utilize transport and supporting facilities in Lantau. Regarding South Lantau conservation, he advised following up with the Environment Bureau and inviting experts to carry out research projects on conservation.
LaDA is eager to continue working closely with the government. By collaborating with the community, business, government and education sectors, LaDA strive to improve livelihood in Lantau and drive regional development.
LaDA has invited officers from the Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO) for a sharing session on 22 November at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. How the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) opening has impacted Lantau residents and details of the Lantau Tomorrow Vision were discussed. LaDA members participated actively to express their concerns and opinions.
The session began with a presentation by LaDA Chairman Mr. Vincent Chua on improving transport facilities and tourism arrangements after the opening of HZMB. Vincent underscored the importance of further Lantau tourism promotion for diverting tourists visiting Hong Kong via the Bridge.
Ms. Ginger Kiang Kam-yin, Deputy Head of the Sustainable Lantau Office (Planning & Conservation) then provided details regarding the Lantau Tomorrow Vision, raising five policy directions that aim to build a liveable near carbon-neutral city, promote conservation, and improve facilities for sustainable development. Mr. Robin Lee Kui-biu, Head of the Sustainable Lantau Office then explained the Office’s response to public concerns.
The last part of the meeting was a Q&A session, where members actively expressed their opinions. Some questioned whether transport infrastructure proposed in the Vision are sufficient to link up Lantau and the future artificial islands for a holistic regional development. Some expressed their concern on the need for conservation in Lantau. Mr. Lee replied that constructing transport infrastructure will be one of the priorities of the plan, stating that roads and railways will be constructed to divert the busy traffic of Lantau. He also pointed out that “preservation first, development later” is an important principle of Lantau Tomorrow, thus a balance between development and conservation will be ensured.
LaDA envisions the creation of a sustainable Lantau through continuous collaboration with various stakeholders.
LaDA organized a Lantau Experience Tour on 10 September 2018. We had the pleasure to invite LegCo members to join the tour, including Mr. Yiu Si-wing, Mr. Holden Chow Ho-ding, Mr. Chow Yuk-tong, Mr. Randy Yu Hon-kwan and Ms. Sammi Fu Hiu-lam.
The tour started with a Ngong Ping 360 crystal cable car ride to the Ngong Ping Market, followed by a boat ride at Tai O Fishing Village. Members then had lunch at the Tai O Heritage Hotel, where LaDA Chairman Mr. Vincent Chua introduced the abundant Lantau tourism resources and some unique tourist routes proposed by LaDA.
As Lantau and the Greater Bay Area further develop, LaDA expects a growth of visitors visiting Lantau for business and leisure purposes. Lantau is rich in tourist attractions, natural resources and cultural heritage. We believe that with more planning, Lantau can provide a convenient, dynamic and unforgettable travel experience for tourists.
LaDA’s Annual General Meeting was held on 6 June 2018. The Audited Financial Statements and Directors’ and Auditors’ Reports for the year was received and considered. After that, former Chairman Mr. Spencer Au gave a presentation on the work carried out in the past year. New Chairman Mr. Vincent Chua next introduced the upcoming work, activities and development direction of LaDA. Apart from LaDA members, District Officer (Islands) Mr. Anthony Li and Head of the Sustainable Lantau Office Mr. Robin Lee Kui-biu also attended the event. Mr. Lee highlighted measures for developing North Lantau as well as for conserving South Lantau, stressing the importance of balancing the two. The meeting has provided a platform for members and officials to exchange ideas.
A three-day youth exchange tour was organized from 18 to 20 May 2018 to encourage interaction and understanding between youth in Huizhou and Hong Kong. On the first day, 52 students and teachers from Huizhou School arrived Hong Kong. Their first stop was HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School in Tung Chung where they were warmly welcomed by Hong Kong teachers and students. They learnt about different interest groups and gained understanding of Hong Kong’s economy, education system, medical system, housing, transport, welfare and food culture.
On the second day, the Huizhou teachers and students took the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to experience the majestic view of Lantau Island. They then headed to Disney’s World of Physics for a learning scheme, where they carried out experiments at various entertainment spots.
On the last day, students joined a Life Coaching Project at Dream Come True Education Park. Through virtual occupation games, students had the chance to experience different occupations. The three-day activity has indeed been an invaluable opportunity to broaden the youths’ horizon, and to enhance interaction between students from the two regions.
LaDA had a meeting with the Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO) on 26 March 2018 to make suggestions on industry planning and transport facilities improvement.
On industry planning, LaDA suggested enhancing services of the tourism industry by measures such as developing medical tourism and establishing a one-stop tourism experience centre. LaDA also suggested developing innovative technological industries by setting up a technology trading platform, a research finding transformation base, as well as an innovative technology supporting services centre to attract investments from mainland enterprises and foreign technology companies. LaDA hopes that through seizing opportunities from a “bridgehead economy”, Lantau and Hong Kong can grow further in prosperity.
On transport facilities improvement, LaDA advised enhancing regional transport facilities, for instance building a pedestrian linkage system between the Boundary Crossing Facilities and the Airport North Commercial District. It was also suggested to perfect the existing transport network, for instance by extending the North-South Link in Lantau. LaDA believes the exchange of ideas with the government helps promote sustainable development in Lantau.
On 1 February 2018, LaDA’s Tourism Taskforce put their heads together to discuss ways to manage Lantau tourism resources according to the “Development Blueprint for Hong Kong’s Tourism Industry 2018”, setting the Taskforce’s future direction. According to the Tourism Commission, green tourism is a focus of Hong Kong’s tourism development. LaDA would like to adopt this focus and attract tourists through green tourism. Green tourism can be categorized into indoor recreational activities and cultural heritage conservation. Its development requires sufficient supporting facilities, transport infrastructure and promotion.
At the meeting, members first listed out existing green tourism resources in Lantau, then came up with potential tourist spots, itineraries and promotion strategies. At last, suggestions on transport linkages, activities, tours and accommodation arrangements have been made. LaDA believes that better management of tourism resources can enrich tourists’ travel experience in Lantau.
LaDA Greater Bay Area Visit Tour was held from 13 to 15 November 2017. Dr. Fang Zhou, Research Director of One Country Two Systems Research Institute, served as the tour’s Senior Honorary Advisor, and Mr. Spencer Au, Chairman of the Alliance, served as the tour leader. Members visited various development districts, including Zhujiang New Town, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Nansha Free Trade Zone, Dongguan Songshan Lake Science and Technology Industrial Park, and Huizhou Tonghu Ecological Smart Zone. The visit has enhanced members’ understanding towards the infrastructure and development in the main regions of the Greater Bay Area, providing insights on fostering economic collaboration between Hong Kong and China.
Members were impressed by different innovative projects, for instance the advanced artificial intelligence technology at the Nansha Free Trade Zone, as well as the innovative business development models and environment at the Dongguan Songshan Lake Science and Technology Industrial Park. The group also visited the Huizhou Tonghu Ecological Smart Zone, where they observed how the goals of smart ecology, mutual symbiosis and innovative systems can help develop innovative industries.
The three-day tour has surely enhanced members’ understanding of the Greater Bay Area. LaDA looks forward to a closer cooperation between the two regions to drive economic development in the future.