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DateLine Thursday, 4 September 2008

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Hong Kong Tourism Board beckons Lankan travellers


Hong Kong by night

Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is welcoming Sri Lankan tourists to visit their country.


Cable car to Ngong Pingto village


Hong Kong Disneyland

An official from the HKTB, said that Sri Lanka travellers are keen to visit the Disney Land, Cable car and engage in shopping. “Their average stay is around four days,” he said.

Developed as a joint venture of The Walt Disney Company and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the world-class resort, which opened in September 12, 2005, is Disney’s 11th theme park globally, its the first in China and an important milestone for sharing the magic of Disney with families throughout Asia.

Located on picturesque Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is accessible by automobile, bus, the MTR rail network and eventually ferryboats.

It includes a lavishly designed theme park that blends classic Disney storytelling and 21st century technology.

Hong Kong Disneyland offers a full day of theme park fun, filled the dazzling entertainment in magical kingdom of dreams, imagination and adventure.

The park combines classic Disney attractions for all ages, with Broadway-quality live entertainment, flavourful Asian cuisine and appearances by beloved Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella, Stitch and many more.

Many Sri Lankans also take the cable car to go to Ngong Pingto village to see World’s tallest outdoors seated Bronze Buddha. The village also offers special vegetarian meals at the temple restaurant.

The visitor arrivals to Hong Kong showed that the first six months of 2008 have grown by 8.9% to 14,185,504. The figure includes 2,147,926 arrivals to the city in June, which represents a year-on-year growth of 5.6%.

HKTB Chairman, James Tien said that the half-yearly performance was well on track, “Notwithstanding the recent downward trend of international arrivals, as seen in June, which was led by various factors in the macro environment, we remain cautiously optimistic of the outlook and our tourism industry’s performance in the second half of the year,” he remarked. “Eyeing the pent-up demand and the sustained China fever post-Olympics, the HKTB is already working with travel-trade partners in various long-haul markets, including the US and France, to develop China/Hong Kong combo packages for capturing the visitor traffic.”

China is now the top destination for visitor arrivals to Hong Kong. Among the individual markets, various high-potential and emerging markets continued their robust performance and delivered remarkable results in the first six months.

These included South Korea (500,713, +27.1%), India (191,176, +19.2%) and Russia (19,905, +24.8%), he said.

 


Going Green at Trans Asia


Maintenance Supervisor Ajit Dias, together with Maintenance Technician M. Aluthge, who were the brains behind this project bending over one of the planters containing the spinach plants. Dias’s goal is to one day produce some of the vegetables used in the hotel’s restaurants.

An initiative taken by the Engineering Department at the Trans Asia Hotel saw a harvest of twenty kilograms of spinach grown in planters under organic conditions. The Executive Chef who used it in the associate’s restaurant - The Link. This was a first for the associates!

The hotel boasts of a large slab or terrace on the first floor adjoining the guest rooms, where the architects had designed huge planters growing flowers and foliage which was visible from the rooms on the higher floors.

However, the recent change in weather conditions saw more rain, strong winds and other elements from the atmosphere ruining these flowering plants.

It was then that some of the associates from the department including the horticulturist who came up with an idea of growing a vegetable in these planters.

The hotel’s team of gardeners who make the full requirement of compost for the entire surrounding gardens of the hotel filled these planters with compost and earth, and as a trial, planted spinach seeds. Within three months a beautiful nursery was born.

They have also grown ladies fingers, and looking to cultivate more of these crops in the planters all along the terrace outside the rooms on the first floor! No doubt, “going green” has certainly taken to the hearts of those working at the Trans Asia Hotel.

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