Hong Kong food truck scheme was cut short as pandemic devastated tourism

Published on : Friday, December 24, 2021

The food truck pilot scheme of Hong Kong which is poor state was originally introduced to serve tourists and has finally been axed by the government.

On June 1st, 2022, the Tourism Commission explained that the scheme would come to an end after a “comprehensive evaluation”. Since its inception, majority of operators have lost their money but at least one is quite confident to continue if the government allows it to.

“The business development of food trucks serving as a tourism promotion facility was not satisfactory,” the commission said in a statement on Thursday. “Its development has not been able to achieve the policy objective of tourism promotion.”

The five-year pilot scheme was underpinned by 15 operators, but 12 survived, of which six were operating frequently, and of them, only three generated rapid business.

The food truck scheme that was branded as an unprecedented project to boost the tourism image of Hong Kong was the brainchild of John Tsang Chun-wah, the then financial secretary, who first raised the idea in his 2015 budget speech.

In 2017, the scheme started with great fanfare, after a competition was arranged to choose vendors on wheels to add some buzz to the street food scenario of the city. Complaints started coming in from operators about poor, fixed locations and other rules after experiencing a promising start, which had hurt their business.

The 2019 anti-government protests and ongoing pandemic, which led to Hong Kong’s tourism a major slouch, have affected the scheme negatively.

Hong Kong Disneyland and West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park are the only two locations still regularly used.

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