LCQ9: Ticketing system and sports and recreation services booking system of LCSD
On enhancing the ticketing system and the sports and recreation services booking system under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to closely keep pace with modern-day service standard, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the (i) number and (ii) attendance rate of bookings of leisure facilities made through the Leisure Link System (LLS) in each of the past two years, with a breakdown by district and type of facility in the following table;
|District||Type of facility||(i)||(ii)|
(2) whether it has conducted further system upgrades since the completion of the system upgrade of LLS in April 2013; if so, of the number of upgrades conducted and the item(s) improved in each upgrade; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) of the work progress in developing the new intelligent sports and recreation services booking and information system; whether the system functions have been upgraded, so as to prevent the activities of using automated computer programmes to snatch bookings of the facilities' sessions; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(4) of the progress in developing the new Urban Ticketing System (URBTIX) and replacing the existing system, as well as the work schedule;
(5) given that some members of the public have criticised the existing electronic payment function of the URBTIX system for being relatively outdated and still unable till now to accept all the electronic payment tools covered by the electronic Consumption Voucher Scheme, whether the relevant functions have been enhanced in the new system; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(6) whether it will consider adding functions to the new URBTIX system to enable, on the premise of not violating the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486), the provision of ticket buyers' data to programme organisers, with a view to helping them understand the composition of their audience and produce suitable programmes; if so, of the details and timetable?
My reply to the questions raised by the Hon Kenneth Fok is as follows:
(1) Currently, all bookings of major sports facilities managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) are handled by the Leisure Link System (LLS). In 2020 and 2021, the total numbers of booked hours/sessions of major sports facilities were about 1 817 000 and 2 957 000 respectively. About 28 500 cases in 2020 and 48 200 cases in 2021 involved the failure of hirer to take up the booked session without cancellation of the booking before the date of use of the facility (i.e. "no show"). The total numbers of booked hours/sessions and "no show" of major sports facilities in the past two years are set out at Annex 1.
(2) The performance of the LLS has been enhanced and upgraded in response to the ever-increasing booking demands and growing prevalence of online services. Since April 2013, apart from the regular system updates and maintenance, about 43 system upgrade works have been carried out for the LLS, including enhancing the booking function of the system, upgrading the system in line with the prevailing booking policy, enhancing system security and maintenance, and improving system infrastructure. Details are in Annex 2.
(3) The LCSD is developing a new intelligent sports and recreation services booking and information system (the new system) to replace the existing LLS, so as to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness and allow more efficient, convenient and user-friendly booking of sports and recreation facilities and enrollment in sports and recreation programmes by members of the public. The new system is developed in two phases. The project team is pressing ahead with their work. The core functions of Phase 1 and the enhanced functions of Phase 2 are expected to be rolled out in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
The LCSD has been actively exploring different technical solutions to prevent touting activities in the booking of recreation and sports facilities through bot-programmes. The new system will adopt a new anti-bot solution to filter out bot access. Once an unusual booking is detected, the anti-bot solution will instantly analyse and intercept such bookings in a bid to prevent bot booking.
On top of the first-come-first-served allocation mechanism, the new system will include a new function of allocating the recreation and sports facilities by ballot according to the requirements of individual facility and session. Facilities will be booked and allocated through balloting first, while the remaining sessions will be allocated in accordance with the existing mechanism. To strengthen the identity verification of hirers, the new system will require real-name registration for identity authentication and use of the "iAM Smart" accounts for booking recreation and sports facilities, which requires to be bound to smartphone. For those who engage in touting activities, they cannot use the "iAM Smart" accounts of other persons for facilities booking. Hirers will also be required to check in for sessions in person to prevent the abuse of facilities.
After the roll-out of the new system, the LCSD will closely monitor the use of the booking system. The network security procedures will also be updated in a timely manner to enhance the system performance.
(4) Tianjin Maoyan Weying Technology Co., Ltd. (Maoyan) was commissioned by the LCSD in end-October 2020 through open tender procurement arrangement for the provision of the new ticketing system and operation services for the URBTIX. Maoyan has completed system analysis and design of the new system, and is now undertaking system development and testing of functions, such as substantially enhancing system capability to facilitate more effective handling of immense demand upon commencement of ticket sales for popular events and strengthening features like prevention against purchases by bots. As the new system involves more complicated system settings and service requirements and the progress of its development is affected by unforeseeable factors (including Maoyan being unable to make arrangements for Mainland personnel of the project team to directly take part in the design and testing of the new system in Hong Kong due to the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, and delivery date of system hardware being affected as a result of global shortage of raw materials and delay in transportation), the LCSD, taking into account the actual circumstances, has made adjustments to the implementation schedule of the new system according to the terms of the contract. It is expected that the new system will come into operation in Q4 2022.
(5) The new URBTIX system will offer more payment options for purchase of tickets. In addition to credit cards/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) and China UnionPay cards currently supported by the existing system, other means of electronic payment such as Octopus, Faster Payment System, Alipay, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay will also be accepted.
(6) The new URBTIX system will be equipped with advanced functions such as customer relationship management, business intelligence and ticket sales data analysis to meet the marketing and promotional needs of event organisers. The LCSD will, having regard to the market situation, as well as feedback and service requirements of event organisers, carefully formulate the details and implementation plans of such functions, including the provision of relevant information for event organisers in compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486). The various functions of customer relationship management, business intelligence and ticket sales data analysis will be rolled out progressively after the launch of the new ticketing system for use by event organisers at their choice.
Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:45
Issued at HKT 12:45