Tourists need bus interchange
more than yet another piazza
South China Morning Post
The tourism commissioner has claimed
that the planned piazza on the current site of the Tsim Sha Tsui bus
terminus will boost tourism (Tourism boss defends TST piazza plan, August
As a regular visitor to Hong Kong, I would
argue that this will do nothing of the sort. Tsim Sha Tsui already has
piazzas outside the Cultural Centre and at 1881 Heritage, the former
Marine Police headquarters.
Additionally, Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade
and the Avenue of Stars are large harbourfront recreational areas for
tourists where outdoor entertainment regularly takes place.
The planned Central harbourfront will have
piazzas, Ngong Ping is currently being vandalised by the construction
of a new piazza and no doubt West Kowloon Cultural District will also
have a piazza. In fact, Hong Kong seems to have an obsession with using
the building of piazzas as an excuse to replace anything that allegedly
has no heritage value.
Well, I can assure the commissioner that the
bus terminus next to the Star Ferry does have a heritage value as far
as this visitor is concerned. For many years, it has provided an extremely
useful interchange for those of us travelling from Hong Kong Island,
already inconvenienced by the relocation of the Central Star Ferry Pier.
You can catch buses travelling up Nathan Road or to Hung Hom and to
places beyond as an alternative to being entombed underground in an
The Octopus card makes bus travel for tourists
in Hong Kong extremely easy and, rather than encourage the demolition
of this bus terminus, the Tourism Board would better serve tourists
by promoting the bus routes that operate from this terminus to such
attractions as Mong Kok street markets, the flower market, bird garden,
Museum of History, Science Museum, Kowloon Walled City Park and Wong
Tai Sin Temple.
I doubt very much whether this development
would attract a single additional tourist. The piazza is neither wanted
nor needed even if it does include an old train carriage as a visitor
centre, presumably in a similar vein to the old tram cabin which poses
as a visitor centre at, yes, you guessed, the Peak piazza.
Ian Boyce, Southampton, England