The Avenue of Stars which is located at the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade was given a glitterting official opening tonight. It will be opened to the public and visitors from all over the world from tomorrow (April 28) onwards. The officiating guests were The Hon Henry Tang, GBS, JP, Financial Secretary, The Hon Stephen Ip, GBS, JP, Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Dr The Hon Patrick Ho, JP, Secretary for Home Affairs, The Hon Mrs Selina Chow, GBS, OBE, JP, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Dr Cheng Yu-tung, Chairman of New World Group, Mr Manfred Wong, Chairman of Hong Kong Film Awards Association Limited. They also conducted the symbolic switch-on ceremony.
The Financial Secretary, The Hon Henry Tang, GBS, JP, pointed out that the Avenue of Stars is a unique combination of Hong Kong's unparalleled tourism appeal as a premier tourist destination and outstanding film-making achievements. As a landmark fronting our beautiful Victoria Harbour and a standing tribute to our film industry, the Avenue of Stars symbolises our vitality and creativity, and offers visitors a once in a life time experience on the magic of Hong Kong movies.
Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, The Hon Mrs Selina Chow, GBS, OBE, JP, said that the strong support of various parties, in particular the Government, the New World Group and the Hong Kong Film Awards Association in the Avenue of Stars demonstrated their long-term commitment to Hong Kong's tourism development. "Building on the popularity of our movies, the Avenue of Stars will add further appeal to our uniquely spectacular harbour by offering our visitors the glittering experience of the glamorous galaxy of stars. They will also be able to enjoy the breathtaking Symphony of Lights from the best vantage point. At the same time, this new tourist attraction will provide a marketing platform for our tourism-related sectors to enrich their itineraries, create new business and products and most important of all, fulfil our promise to visitors, wherever they come from, so that when they visit Hong Kong, they will live it and love it, "she said.
Dr. Cheng said, "As a Hong Kong based company, the New World Group is very proud to have had the opportunity to participate in the development of a brand new tourist destination like the Avenue of Stars. The Group has already put in forty million Hong Kong dollars for the project and taken an active part in its design and construction. I hope that Hong Kong's tourism can benefit from our support for this new tourist venue!‥. Dr. Cheng also pointed out that Hong Kong films are very popular in the Mainland and even internationally. The Avenue of Stars not only serves as a monument to Hong Kong film workers' achievement but is also a vantage point for enjoying the world famous vista on the Hong Kong harbour. He thinks with the combination of these two attractions the Avenue will become a major tourist destination.
Mr. Manfred Wong pointed out that due to the limit to the number of plaques available, representatives of the nine member societies of the Hong Kong Film Awards Ltd. and the City Entertainment Magazine originally elected by vote 73 film professionals to be honoured at the Avenue of Stars. The number of plaques was later increased to 100 later on. He said, "The additional film professionals elected for the Honour were chosen according to exactly the same criteria. The announcement of the next list of honoured movie personalities will be made in October 2005. We are also considering to fix October as the month for all future announcements of additions to the existing list."
During the ceremonies, Mr Stephen Ip and Dr Patrick Ho presented souvenirs to Honoured Stars, including Mr. Tso Tat Wah, Mr Woo Fung, Mr Jimmy Wong Yue, Mr Tommy Ti Lung, Mr David Chiang, Mr Raymond Chow, Mr Ng See Yuen, Mr Sammo Hung Kam Po, Mr Yuen Wo Ping, Ms Ann Hui On Wah and Mr Jet Li. The two departmental chiefs also presented souvenirs to family members of deceased Honoured Stars, including Mr Lai Man Wai, Ms Florence Li, Mr Zhu Shi Lin, Mr Lo Duen, Mr Kwan Tak Hing, Ms Pak Yin, Mr Cheung Ying, Mr Wu Pang, Mr Ng Wui, Mr Leung Sing Po, Ms Tang Bik Wan, Mr Roy Chiao, Mr Chang Cheh, Mr Leonard Ho Kwong Cheong and Ms Anita Mui Yim Fong. Ms Sandra Lee, JP, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Economic Development), Ms Shelley Lee, JP, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Anissa Wong, JP, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Eva Cheng, JP, Commissioner for Tourism, Ms Clara Chong, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mr Michael Fong, Chairman of AOS Management Limited, Honoured Stars and family members of deceased Honoured Stars toasted the opening and success of the Avenue of Stars. After the ceremonies, all the distinguished guests became the first visitors of the Avenue. They all were excited about the facilities shown to them and were confident that the Avenue would become a tourist site of international renown as well as a rest and recreation venue for local residents. To coincide with the launch of Avenue of Stars, tonight's presentation of the Tourism Commission's multimedia harbour show 'A Symphony of Lights' was augmented with special pyrotechnic effects. The Avenue of Stars complements this popular nightly show and provides visitors and residents with a perfect venue from which to enjoy it.
About Avenue of Stars
Scheduled to open at end April, the Avenue of Stars is located along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, adjacent to the Hong Kong Museum of Art and extending towards Tsim Sha Tsui East. Measuring 440 meters from end to end, the Avenue offers a superb view of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline, especially at night-time when it will complement the new nightly harbour lighting show, A Symphony of Lights. It will showcase each honoured film professional with a plaque bearing his/her name, palm print and signature. For those deceased film professionals, their names will be highlighted on the plaque. Other features such as a stage with a sizeable projection screen, milestones depicting the Hong Kong movie industry¡¦s 100-year development, a two-storey high Hong Kong Film Award statue, greenery, kiosks, resting facilities and special lighting effects will be included to further enhance the leisurely ambience of this attraction.
The Avenue of Stars is a forty-million dollar project financed by the New World Group. The project is also supported by the Tourism Commission, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and Hong Kong Film Awards Association Limited.