The chairman of the Wan Chai District Council said on Tuesday that more needs to be done to boost the evening economy, as waterfront night markets are unlikely to yield long-term gains.
Speaking on an RTHK programme, Ivan Wong said the Wan Chai promenade was designed for leisure purposes a decade ago – not for commercial use.
"If you visit mainland cities, there are many night markets that are cheaper and better than those in Hong Kong. Tourists mainly come to Hong Kong for the night-time views along Victoria Harbour, and this is something that can't be bought even with billions of dollars. They are not here for food or shopping," he said.
Wholesale and retail sector lawmaker Peter Shiu told the same programme that while the Night Vibes campaign added momentum to the city’s economy, tourist numbers still fall short of pre-Covid levels.
"The government is taking it one step at a time, and so are the shops. I believe that as long as there are events, people will come out to spend money," Shiu said.
Meanwhile, Raymond Chui, president of the Institute of Dining Professionals, said there has been a 20 percent jump in business over the long weekend.
But Chui said it will be difficult for restaurants to extend their opening hours because of staff shortage.