Design concepts for the Avenue of Stars, a planned new tourism attraction in Hong Kong, were unveiled…
Design concepts for the Avenue of Stars, a planned new tourism attraction in Hong Kong, were unveiled recently. It is expected that construction works for the Avenue will commence in June 2003, and that the first phase of the project will be completed in the second quarter of 2004.
Speaking at a press conference, Mrs Chow, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Chairman, said Hong Kong`s tourism industry had been facing one of its toughest times since the outbreak of the atypical pneumonia crisis (SARS), compounded by war in Iraq. In the face of these difficulties, the HKTB needs to demonstrate an even stronger fighting spirit to brace itself for the challenges ahead, she noted. Despite hardships, people in Hong Kong are always able to turn adversities into opportunities by making a discerning analysis of the situation and preparing ourselves for a comeback when the time is right.
Mrs Chow explained that the Avenue of Stars was one of the major items in a feasibility study commissioned by the former Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) in 2000. The Avenue of Stars builds on the fact that Hong Kong is rightfully one of the world`s major film exporters and producers and is home to many world-renowned film stars and professionals, she said. In addition to offering a new attraction that caters to visitors` interest in Hong Kong movies, we aim to provide an opportunity to honour the contribution the industry`s leading players have made to the film scene both in Hong Kong and worldwide.
Hong Kong celebrities have long enjoyed strong appeal across the Southeast Asia and North Asia markets, and now the popularity of Hong Kong movie stars and directors is rapidly extending to North America and Europe.
Based on recommendations of the 2000 study, the HKTB solicited assistance from the Hong Kong Film Awards Association (HKFAA) in preparing the initial design concept. A roll of honour was compiled after nomination and voting by HKFAA`s 10 member organisations with the following criteria: nominees must be top players in Hong Kong`s movie industry; they must have made a great contribution to the development of the local movie industry; and they must be esteemed players with a long history of service to the industry.
Mrs Chow expressed her gratitude to New World Group for agreeing to be donor of the Avenue of Stars, to construct the project based on the concept design provided by the HKTB, and to manage and maintain the Avenue in future.
She added that the project showcased the teamwork and efforts of the community at large in reviving tourism. Now was the right time to add new impetus to the industry and make investment in it, Mrs Chow said. It was also the best time to pool resources, especially those from various sectors of the community in developing new attractions that could enhance Hong Kong`s appeal and competitiveness in the marketplace, so as to encourage more travellers to visit Hong Kong.
The New World Group has agreed to finance the design and construction of the Avenue with a total cost of HK$40 million, and to manage and maintain the Avenue free for 20 years. Chairman of the New World Development Company Limited, Dr Cheng Yu-tung, noted that the New World Group had built the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during the economic downturn of the 1980s in a bid to boost trade development. This time the Group is spending millions in developing and managing the Avenue of Stars, he said. We are confident that it will become another landmark that proves popular with visitors worldwide and will make a worthy contribution to the tourism industry.
The Avenue of Stars has full support from the Tourism Commission, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Yau Tsim Mong District Council. It forms phase one of the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade Beautification Project undertaken by the Tourism Commission. At the press conference, an architect from Dennis Lau and Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (HK) Ltd, commissioned by New World Group to construct the Avenue of Stars, gave a detailed outline of the design.
The Avenue showcases each personality with a plaque in its first phase. Nominees are being contacted now and the full list will be made public in due course after confirmation. Provision has been made for additional plaques to be included in future.
In addition to the plaques, features such as milestones, sculptures, greenery, kiosks, resting facilities and special lighting will be included to add life to the leisurely ambience of the attraction.
A welcoming video will be shown on site to introduce the project to visitors. Milestone features incorporating interesting facts about the 100-year development of Hong Kong`s movie industry will be erected along the Avenue. Souvenirs and simple food and beverage facilities will be offered at kiosks to further enrich the experience of visitors and offer them a relaxing and enticing environment to enjoy the harbour view. Regular activities will also be organised by New World Group, the manager of the site, to enhance the Avenue`s appeal.
The recommended location for the Avenue of Stars is the Waterfront Promenade adjacent to the Hong Kong Museum of Art and extending towards Tsim Sha Tsui East. This area is easily accessible by public transport and has a number of hotels and shopping arcades in the vicinity. It also offers a superb viewpoint of Victoria Harbour with the skyline of Hong Kong Island behind. The Avenue of Stars will complement other cultural attractions in the vicinity including the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art, with ample space for visitors to walk around at a leisurely pace.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.