"Developing Hong Kong into a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world" (2021/09/30)

"Developing Hong Kong into a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world" (2021/09/30)

MR YIU SI-WING (in Cantonese):

Deputy President, I support Mr MA Fung-kwok's motion and have proposed an amendment on how to better integrate cultural and tourism resources. In the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Central Government has mentioned for the first time its support for Hong Kong to develop into a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. The aim is to make use of Hong Kong's existing advantages as a hub or platform for the world to understand Hong Kong's unique Chinese and foreign cultures. The Government should seize this opportunity to proactively formulate relevant policies.


Deputy President, Hong Kong's arts and culture have many strengths, but also many problems. In terms of the art market, Hong Kong has overtaken London for the first time in 2020 to become the second largest contemporary art auction market in the world, just behind New York. Hong Kong movies, television dramas and pop songs were popular in Southeast Asia and all Chinese communities. In terms of hardware facilities, the Government has invested more than $40 billion in the West Kowloon Cultural District ("WKCD"), and its scale and environment are among the best in the world. However, due to the lack of supporting policies, except for art auctions, other resources have not been fully utilized or the progress has been stagnant, causing the public to believe that arts and culture only satisfy the needs of some people and thus are not popular, despite the large amount of investment.


In 2014, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was established by the country to, among other things, further enhance the popularization of arts and culture through tourism, with the focus on integrating cultural and tourism development to achieve industrial and consumer upgrades. The first proposal in Mr MA Fung-kwok's original motion is to establish a Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, so that cultural and tourism resources can be effectively integrated and the best synergy can be achieved. Culture brings rich elements to tourism, while tourism provides better publicity, promotion and sales channels to enhance the value of cultural development and heritage. For this reason, I have suggested earlier that a higher-level Policy Bureau should be established to coordinate the current resources in cultural tourism. Recently, there is news that the Government is considering the reorganization proposal concerned, and both the industry and I hope that it will come to fruition.


Deputy President, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the country announced in December 2020 the Culture and Tourism Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which advocates "integration of culture and tourism to promote mutual development" among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. To this end, Hong Kong should formulate with the relevant departments in Guangdong Province and Macao a collaboration mechanism and a timetable for implementing specific projects; make appropriate adjustments based on the relevant contents of the Development Blueprint for Hong Kong's Tourism Industry proposed by the Government in 2017, and inject new elements to the study of how to promote the cultural development of the Greater Bay Area through tourism to form a larger industry. For example, through leveraging the tourism advantages of transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, shopping, etc., we can develop a series of multi-destination tourism projects by connecting the cultural and artistic structures and attractions in various places of the Greater Bay Area. Recently, the Hong Kong Tourism Board ("HKTB") has launched the West Kowloon neighbourhood programme, which links up the unique stores and attractions in WKCD and the surrounding Yau Ma Tei and Jordan areas. The itinerary incorporates the most modern and international M+ museum in WKCD, as well as the most traditional local culture, including soon-to-be-lost handicrafts, centuries-old temples, hotels with a rich cultural heritage and many century-old well-established brands. HKTB has taken the lead in promoting the programme in Hong Kong through various channels and organizing visits by different stakeholders. The response from various parties to the itinerary has been very positive, and I believe that it will certainly attract overseas visitors when traveller clearance is resumed.


Deputy President, as long as Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao can keep in mind the theme of "integration of culture and tourism to promote mutual development", the culture and tourism of Hong Kong will be elevated to a higher level in the future.


Deputy President, I so submit. I hope that Members can support my amendment.