The Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, said country parks and hiking trails will be upgraded as part of the government’s effort to build a “quality city for our citizens”.
He said HK$500 million will be spent on installing new facilities in country parks, including treetop adventure and glamping sites and new lookout points, or on improving existing toilets and barbecue or picnic sites.
The money will also be used to convert some wartime relics into “open museums” to “enrich visitors' experience and enjoyment at the countryside”, Chan said, as he unveiled his budget proposals on Wednesday.
“The new facilities will adopt low carbon and green design that integrates with its natural surroundings,” he said, adding they will be rolled out gradually in the coming two to three years.
Meanwhile, he said HK$55 million has been earmarked for the “enhancement” of 10 popular hiking trails in country parks which “have potential for tourism in the coming five years”.
This would be a continuation of a programme jointly carried out by the Tourism Commission and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
The financial chief said the government will seek funding from the Legislative Council this year for two harbourfront enhancement projects – the Boardwalk underneath the Island Eastern Corridor and the harbourfront park in Sai Ying Pun.
Chan said the government will also carry on with a five-year plan to make playgrounds more “fun, creative and challenging” for children, and will install new outdoor fitness equipment in new or existing parks – such as the Yat Ming Road Park in North District which is near completion and the Butterfly Beach Park in Tuen Mun.