Skyrail opening-day tickets sell briskly as safety fears evaporate
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Hong Kongers have apparently set aside their fears about being stranded in midair with more than 300 tickets for the opening of Lantau's skyrail being snapped up within an hour at the Central MTR station Wednesday.
By day's end, about half the 1,688 first-day tickets were sold.
The cable car system, known as Ngong Ping 360, will open on September 18.
In keeping with feng shui traditions, the operator, Skyrail-ITM, is selling just 1,688 tickets at HK$88 each, as the numbers are considered lucky.
The opening was delayed by three months - following a breakdown in June when invited guests were left dangling in the air - for tests and emergency drills for staff.
Because of the late opening, Skyrail has not been able to cash in on the summer crowds. But business is expected to pick up with the National Day holiday just around the corner followed by the Golden Week when most mainlanders are on holiday.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Disneyland, which celebrated its first anniversary Tuesday, fell just short of its target of 5.6 million visitors in the first year of operation.
Tourism Board chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said Hong Kong as a whole would find it difficult to meet its annual target of 27 million visitors. She said only 14 million visitors had arrived in the first seven months.
Asked if the hiccups at Ngong Ping and reports of problems at Disney were responsible for the lower-than-expected figures, Chow said: "I don't think any single factor could be held responsible for the lack of numbers." WENDY LEUNG