Hong Kong’s most popular tourist attraction Peak Tram reopens after 14 months
After being down for a year, one of Hong Kong’s most well-liked tourist attractions, the Peak Tram, has reopened with a fresh new design.
The funicular, which is the oldest in Asia and was previously visited by more than six million people annually when Covid-19 hit, was built in 1888.
On Saturday, the service welcomed back customers despite the city’s continuing strict coronavirus regulations.
Since its closure in June 2021, it has had a $799 million HKD (£87 million) makeover.
Hong Kong’s tourist numbers are significantly lower than they were before Covid; in the previous year, 134,000 individuals visited the city, compared to 65 million in 2018.
The tram has undergone renovations that include a new terminus in the city’s financial sector and roomier tramcars.
However, restrictions on foreign tourists brought about by Covid-19 are still in force, therefore it is unlikely that Hong Kong will soon experience a return to its prior levels of tourism.
Hotel quarantine periods for visitors traveling from abroad were shortened from seven to three days earlier this month.
However, they are still subject to four more days of “medical surveillance” that can be completed at home or in any hotel, and their travel options are limited.
More than 7,800 illnesses and seven fatalities were reported on Friday, signaling an increase in cases in the city.
Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau of Hong Kong issued a warning that the number of daily cases would soon reach 10,000 and introduced a rule requiring negative tests for anybody dining in groups of eight or more.
The pandemic had an effect on the Peak Tram’s renovation as well, causing the project to go over budget as a result of challenges importing customized tramcars from Switzerland.
A return adult ticket now costs HK$88 (£9.50), which is roughly 70% more than it did prior to the tram’s renovation.
“I hope all visitors will feel it’s worth the price,” said May Tsang, general manager of tram operator the Peak Complex.
“We have to consider the increase in our operating costs and the long-term sustainability of our business.”
Before Victoria Peak reopened on Saturday, some 100 people stood in line for several hours to glimpse the expansive cityscape.
Chau, who went on a family outing with his two sons, expressed broad satisfaction with the redesign.
“It’s a bit pricey, but so is everything nowadays,” he told the news agency