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Speech by Tourism Commissioner at Queen Mary 2

    Following is the speech by the Commissioner for Tourism, Miss Au King-chi, at Queen Mary 2 today (February 28) (English only):

Commodore Warner, Clara, distinguished guests and friends from the media,

     It is really a great pleasure for me to welcome "Queen Mary 2" to Hong Kong as part of her maiden round-the-world voyage.  As we are celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Pig, I would like to wish you all good health, happiness and prosperity.

     Queen Mary 2 is the largest cruise vessel that we have received so far.  Her call on Hong Kong demonstrates our attractiveness as a "must-see" tourist destination in the region.

     With our international and dynamic outlook, unique East-meets-West heritage, and world-class tourism infrastructure, Hong Kong is naturally a preferred city for tourists looking for sophistication, excitement and fun.  

     The Government of Hong Kong has invested heavily in tourism infrastructure.  New tourist attractions opening in the past two years include the Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong Wetland Park, and "Ngong Ping 360", which is a new cable car system on the picturesque Lantau Island.  With these flagship projects, Hong Kong is set to enrich the experience of our visitors, in particular family visitors.

     However, we do not and cannot rest on our laurels.  We shall continue to press ahead with new tourism projects, which amount to more than $10 billion and will come on stream in the next five years.  Notable examples are the redevelopment of the Ocean Park, and a new Cruise Terminal at the former Airport runway, situated right in the heart of Victoria Harbour.

     I can assure you, Commodore Warner, that the new Cruise Terminal will have state-of-the-art facilities, catering for mega cruise vessels like Queen Mary 2.  It will help us to capture the tremendous opportunities brought by the growth of the cruise industry and reinforce our position as a regional cruise hub.  

     I hope passengers and crew members on board will find time to enjoy Hong Kong, and have a taste of our fabulous shopping facilities and unique dining service.  I understand that many passengers are going to visit our attractions like The Peak, Stanley Market, Aberdeen fishing harbour, and the New Territories.  For those who decide to explore our dynamic city on their own, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has already made special hospitality arrangements downtown.  Also, at a reception in Aberdeen, the Tourism Board will send a "God of Wealth" to welcome guests from Queen Mary 2.  The "God of Wealth" is the most well-known icon of the Chinese New Year.  According to Chinese tradition, he will bring prosperity and wealth to all.

     This evening at 8 o'clock, as you sail through the Victoria Harbour, I would like to invite you all to experience our Guinness World Records winning attraction, "A Symphony of Lights".  A total of 33 buildings on both sides of the Harbour will participate in the world's largest sound and light show.  

     Ladies and gentlemen, may I wish you all a most memorable stay in Hong Kong.  

     Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:25


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