HONG KONG, March 8, 2019 – Listed 3 times in the top 10 of the world’s most amazing cable car experiences, Ngong Ping 360 is striving to provide guests with a unique travel experience. In 2018, 1.83 million guests visited Ngong Ping 360, up 75.3% from 2017. The average number of guests per day increased by 5.9% to 5,385, reached a 10-year high. Last year, 58% of our guests were from Western and Asian areas, 27% were from China and Macau and 15% were Hong Kong residents. The numbers of guests from Thailand (up 16%) and the Philippines (up 11%) increased the most relative to those from other areas.
In its quest to become the gateway to Lantau Island West and a must-visit travel destination, the company is striving to launch a range of new programmes and services. We are also committed to maintaining the reliability and safety of the cable car. The average reliability reached a new high of 99.93% in 2018, equivalent to a delay of less than one minute for every 8 hours of operation.
“We have set many records over the past year. The average number of guests per day reached a 10-year high, and the reliability of the cable car has broken our all-time record. During visits to Zhongshan and Zhuhai in early 2018, our Commerce team introduced our products to local travel agencies, and delivered customised offerings. As a result, the number of guests from China has seen a marked growth since the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opened. Through years of effort, we have forged close strategic partnerships with large-scale e-commerce platforms in a bid to explore alternative sales channels,” said Mr. Andy Lau, Acting Managing Director of Ngong Ping 360.
Chinese New Year visits up 12.1%; Hong Kong residents’ privilege throughout the year
In the Chinese New Year holiday (from 5 to 11 February 2019), the average number of guests per day increased 12.1% YoY. To capitalize on the business potential from the increased connectivity brought by two mega infrastructure projects, namely the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, we wasted no time ramping up promotion in the Greater Bay area as well as cities in western Guangdong, in the hope that guests arriving via the bridge would choose Ngong Ping 360 as their first stop in Hong Kong.
At the same time, Ngong Ping 360 has taken pains to make itself more convenient to locals. We offered at least 500 real-name express tickets for Hong Kong residents for each of the first seven days of the Chinese New Year. Those who had purchased the designated tickets or packages through our official website were able to conveniently board the cable car at their scheduled times. An average of 120 locals enjoyed the priority service during the seven-day trial. For arrivals at the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal, it only took an average 20 minutes to board the cable car after redeeming and validating their tickets.
Riding the wave of popularity, Ngong Ping 360 will resume the service on weekends and public holidays as of 1 April. By then, Hong Kong residents who have purchased these designated tickets or packages through our official website at least one day in advance will be able to conveniently board the cable car at their scheduled times. A minimum of 500 tickets for each of the designated days will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
March and June dedicated to locals
In pursuit of international visibility and leverage, Ngong Ping 360 keeps an appreciative eye on the home market. We have not only allowed Hong Kong residents a free ride on Standard Cabin Cable Car (Round Trip) on their birthdays, but also dedicated March and June to them along with exceptional specials. During these two months this year, locals can enjoy a free ride on Standard Cabin Cable Car (Round Trip) by presenting their HKID card at our ticket office, as long as its ID number contains two of the three digits “3”, “6” and “0”, while 3 fellow travelers at most can get 20% off their tickets.
As the cable car service will be closed temporarily for scheduled maintenance from 6 to 26 March, locals whose HKID card number contains two of the three digits “3”, “6” and “0” can enjoy a free 360 Lantau Land and Sea Guided Tour, while 3 fellow travelers can get 20% off the fares. (The tour should be booked through our official website at least two days in advance.)
On top of that, those whose HKID card number has all 3 of the digits in it will receive a HK$20 coupon that is redeemable at Ngong Ping 360’s souvenir shops.
Easter at Ngong Ping 360
Positioned as a world-class travel destination, Ngong Ping 360 spares no effort in providing guests with a colourful experience. Each holiday, it becomes a cultural and recreational paradise. From 30 March to 28 April 2019, Ngong Ping Village will be decorated with local cultural icons and Easter eggs; Hong Kong-style Easter egg mascots will tour the Village three times a day, dancing and taking photos with guests; and an Easter egg painting workshop will be opened for parents and children. (See Appendix I for the timetable.)
Diversified travel experience
Surrounded by nature, Ngong Ping 360 presents different views depending on the season. Shortly after boarding, shutterbugs can capture the natural scenery of Lantau North Country Park, take in the vast beauty of Tung Chung Bay, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Hong Kong International Airport, or pose against the Crystal Cabin glass floor. Popular KOL, emerging, and disabled artists are pitching in to design photo-worthy walls for Ngong Ping Village, an emerging celebrity hotspot already known for the culturally distinctive building complex and Tian Tan Buddha. So, stay focused, anytime, anywhere.
Given the growing popularity of cultural insight tours, Ngong Ping Village and 360 Holidays’ tours will be endowed with an indigenous experience and DIY workshops. From April, the designated 360 Lantau Culture and Heritage Insight Tour, which starts at 14:30 every Saturday, will stand out with double features: stilt houses in Tai O and the production of salted egg yolks. In the past, Tai O fishermen used egg whites to make their fishnets stronger and more durable, while the leftover egg yolks became an essential ingredient for the local specialty—salted egg yolks. At the yolk workshop, our guests will get a peek at the traditional culture and lifestyle of Tai O. Guided by an indigenous instructor, they will be able to select eggs and sprinkle salt over the yolks, and produce their own “signature” yolks.
The Art of Chocolate Hong Kong is newly opened at Ngong Ping. Inspired by the local lifestyle, the Ukrainian chocolatier Nicolai Popv modelled 388 exhibits with 2,800kg of chocolate to recreate a wet market, a mahjong game, a Chinese restaurant, a trendy shopping area and more. These vibrantly coloured artefacts are collectively displayed as eight distinctive sets in the art museum. Even the master himself may be around to demonstrate how the objets d’art are crafted. A wide selection of DIY workshops is in store for guests to create their own personalised chocolate art. Guests can also sample ten different types of chocolates by Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa from Switzerland. (See Appendix II for the price list.)
DIY 360 offers our guests a Blooming Tea Workshop and a Paper Craft Workshop every weekend. In the Blooming Tea Workshop, the instructor guides guests through the process of making floral tea in a decorated traditional Chinese tearoom. The process includes the selection and drying of tea. Guests are taught to shape their own floral tea using a needle and thread. When the tea is brewed, the flowers bloom, and the beautiful shapes and refreshing aroma provide a multisensory experience. In the Paper Craft Workshop, guests can hand craft their own cardboard albums and cable car ornaments to record precious memories from their cable car journey. (See Appendix III for the price list.)
STEAM for little cable car engineers
This year, Ngong Ping 360 is running an all-new STEAM programme. Local and overseas students involved will double as little cable car engineers who are expected to observe the cable car system inside the cabin and learn to use MAKEDO, an intelligent tool system, to creatively design and build a cable car plant or a cable tower. Practice will hone their problem-solving skills, helping them to understand the structure and pulley mechanisms required for the smooth operation of the cable car. Competition as groups will give a boost to their communication skills and team spirit. Since its official launch at Learning & Teaching Expo 2018 last December, the programme has been well received by primary schools. So far, over 120 students have signed up.
Giving back to society
As a major travel destination in Hong Kong, Ngong Ping 360 is committed to fulfilling its social responsibility and giving back to society. Earlier this year, the 2nd Blindfold Cable Car Challenge, a fundraiser organized by the company, drew nearly 1,000 participants and raised HKD 428,000 for the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, which helps to provide mental health services for children and adolescents. The 360 Sharing Ambassador volunteer team has become a regular fixture in local communities. In 2018, there were 70 team members, who accounted for a quarter of our staff. Community service hours approached 300.
“Over the past few years, Ngong Ping 360 has been frequently honoured as one of ‘the world’s ten best cable cars.’ We will welcome our 20 millionth guest this year. In the future, we will continue to maintain the high reliability and safety of the cable car, and further enhance the travel experience, in order to become a must-see attraction in Hong Kong. Just as year-round festivities and entertainment are building Ngong Ping Village into a hotspot, indigenous experiences and DIY workshops are turning Ngong Ping 360 into a lingering delight and memory, as well as causing our guests to extend the lengths of their stays” concluded Mr. Andy Lau.