LCQ18: Coach parking spaces and tourism facilities of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Following is a question by the Hon Paul Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Legislative Council meeting today (April 9):
It has been reported that since the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (the Terminal) Park formally opened to the public in October last year, it has become a new tourist spot for quite a number of local one-day tours. However, to avoid overcrowding of the terminal facilities on port call days, the operator of the Terminal charges each coach a gate fee ranging from $125 to $250 for picking up and dropping off visitors at the Terminal, although spaces are still available for coaches at the coach bays. It is a common scene during the rush hours on Sundays that nearly one hundred coaches pick up and drop off visitors on the streets and at the roundabout near the Terminal in order to avoid paying gate fees, which has not only caused traffic jam, but also posed danger to a large number of visitors when they cross the roads. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has assessed the numbers of local tour groups, visitors and coaches visiting the Terminal on port call days; if it has, of the details; whether it has assessed the utilisation of the coach parking spaces, public toilets and other facilities at the Terminal; if it has not, whether it will expeditiously conduct such assessments;
(2) whether it has assessed if sufficient tourism facilities are provided at the Terminal at present; whether the Lands Department, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the operator of the Terminal have discussed the co-ordination measures to address the transport needs of both cruise visitors and visitors of local tours, so as to avoid any chaos;
(3) whether it will consider suggesting the operator of the Terminal to adjust the measure of charging gate fees, and to allocate some spaces for free parking by coaches of local tour groups in the light of the parking spaces needed for coaches to pick up and drop off cruise visitors; and
(4) of the latest occupancy rate of the shops in the Terminal Building; the number and types of the shops which have opened and those which are expected to open within this year; whether it has assessed the impact of newly added shops on the visitor flow at the Terminal?
To ensure the safe and smooth flow of traffic and visitors at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (the Terminal), the terminal operator has implemented special traffic management measures during berthing days, including charging gate fees to control the number of coaches entering the Terminal at the same time. This measure is not applicable on days when there is no cruise vessel berthing at the Terminal. The terminal operator explained the abovementioned special traffic arrangements to the coach trade in the middle of last year.
My reply to the four parts of the question is as follows:
(1) The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Park (the Park) has been open to the public since mid-October last year. More visitors go to the Park in the morning (from about 9.30am to noon) and in the afternoon (from about 3pm to 5pm) on Saturdays and Sundays. The visitor volume peaks on Sundays, averaging about 8 000 visitors, with around 120 to 150 tour group coaches visiting the Park a day. Currently, there are about eight travel agents that operate local tours to the Terminal. We do not have the actual number of local tour groups in hand.
The primary consideration for the design of the Terminal is to facilitate cruise operation and passenger flow. The Terminal provides 40 coach bays for pick-up/drop-off and 30 queuing spaces. During berthing days, these coach bays are reserved for coaches for cruise passengers, including coaches deployed by travel agents to take cruise passengers on shore excursions as well as shuttle buses running between the Terminal and nearby MTR stations and the city centre for cruise passengers.
As for toilet facilities available to local visitors at the public areas of the Terminal and the Park, there are five toilets each for male and female, as well as nine disabled toilets.
Our observation and that of the terminal operator indicate that with proper management measures, the facilities at the Terminal and the Park can largely meet the needs of local visitors.
(2) To ensure that the needs of both cruise passengers and local visitors are properly taken care of, the terminal operator has been closely liaising and co-ordinating with local travel agents, coach operators and relevant departments (including Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Police), to avoid heavy influx of local tour groups to the Terminal during berthing days. Police officers will assist in controlling the crowd and coach traffic outside the Terminal when there is a large number of local visitors. The restaurant and retails shops at both ends of the second floor and the Park will provide better experience for visitors when they are open for business.
(3) To ensure the safe and smooth flow of traffic and visitors during berthing days, the terminal operator will listen to the views of the parties concerned and consider the current coach fee arrangement during berthing days as well as explore other measures in the light of actual circumstances.
(4) The Terminal has an ancillary commercial areas of about 5 600 square metres. The commercial areas, located at both ends of the second floor and the rooftop garden, are managed by the terminal operator. The commercial areas at both ends of the second floor have been leased out. There will be a high-end retail shop with in-store counters for various brands. Another tenant is a catering company, which will operate a Chinese restaurant and other eateries. The tenants are carrying out design and fitting out works. The commercial areas are expected to be open by phases from mid-2014 onwards. As for the commercial areas at the rooftop garden, one of the shops would be leased to a marriage registration service company that provides wedding services. The operator is looking for tenants for the remaining two shops at the rooftop garden, which are suitable for catering or other uses. With the opening of these ancillary commercial areas from the middle of this year by phases (in particular, large-scale banquets can be held in the Chinese restaurant in future), we believe the attractiveness of the Terminal to visitors will be enhanced.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:50