Ngong Ping cable car sees rise in visitor numbers, despite overall decline in tourism in Hong Kong

Lantau cable car

Lantau's Ngong Ping cable car ride saw a 5.5% rise in people using the attraction in 2016, despite an overall decline in tourism in Hong Kong of 4.6%.

In a statement issued yesterday, Ngong Ping 360 said that 1.71 million people had used the cable car system in 2016, up from 1.62 million in 2015.

The operators said that the increase was down to "innovative promotional activities", using match funding provided by the government to promote the attraction overseas, including partnerships with travel agencies in short-haul markets abroad to bring more foreign tourists to Hong Kong.

The company isn't expecting such high numbers for the coming year though, as the attraction is currently closed for routine recabling. The project, which got underway on January 9, will see the cables of the bi-cable ropeway system completely replaced, with the ride due to open later this year.

In the meantime, it has launched a new guided tour of Lantau Island, through its tour operator 360 Holidays. The tour is described as a "sky-land-sea guided tour of South Lantau". Starting in Tung Chung or Mui Wo, the tour takes visitors through a number of Lantau villages and attractions, including Ngong Ping, the Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Tai O, Cheung Sha and Pui O.

Commenting on the news, Dr Stella Kwan, managing director of Ngong Ping 360 said, "Ngong Ping 360 is striving to become the gateway to Lantau Island West and a must-visit tourist destination. During the rope-replacement project, we will continue to work closely with several travel agencies. Our Land and Sea Guided Tour has been well received. The rope-replacement project is now in full swing and the cable-car service is expected to resume in early June."

A rare example of a bi-cable gondola circulating lift system, Ngong Ping 360 is the longest aerial cable car of its kind in Asia.

Image: Ngong Ping 360

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