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Hong Kong's Aberdeen set for redevelopment

Aberdeen Harbour celebrating Dragon Boat Day (photo courtesy Unsplash).

Hong Kong's Aberdeen district is set to receive a shake-up under government plans to boost the city's struggling tourism industry.

And according to local media, one of its most famous landmarks, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, is to become a heritage tourist attraction.

After 44 years operating as a multi-level dining space, the attraction was forced to close in March this year. It’s believed it will now be managed by nearby Ocean Park as part of the government revival plans for the area.

Hong Kong’s tourism industry has been left battered by several months of anti-government protests in 2019 and the coronavirus pandemic this year. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has now announced relief measures worth more than US$70 million to help tourism-related businesses, including tour guides, travel agencies and coach drivers.

Part of the relief measures include a redevelopment plan for Aberdeen. The ‘Invigorating Island South’ initiative includes revitalising Ocean Park, which has been running at a loss for the last four years.

It’s believed that improvements to cultural and leisure facilities in Aberdeen will also be carried out, including boosting the appeal of Aberdeen promenade as an eco-tourism destination.

Aberdeen boasts a rich history and was the reason for Hong Kong being named as it is. 'Hong Kong' was the original name for the modern-day Aberdeen village and when foreigners landed near the village in the 1800s, they mistook the name 'Hong Kong' for the whole island. It's an area famous for fishing and for its floating seafood restaurants in Aberdeen harbour. Aberdeen South Typhoon Shelter along with Tai Pak Floating Restaurant (now part of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant) also played a starring role in the 1955 Hollywood movie 'Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing'.

New water taxi routes are apparently being considered in the district, including a ‘day trip’ route with stops at a revamped Aberdeen typhoon shelter, neighbouring Wong Chuk Hang, Ocean Park, the beachside area of Repulse Bay and Tai O in Lantau.

According to Lam, the government is also exploring ideas for a water sports centre at Shek O Quarry site and converting old industrial buildings in Wong Chuk Hang into arts and cultural spaces.


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