leverage the co-hosting of the Events to promote Hong Kong. Together, their initiatives include a display of mega Olympic rings on the façade of the Hong Kong Museum of Art and setting up the Hong Kong Olympic Piazza next to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The Hong Kong Olympic Piazza will be open free of charge to both local residents and overseas visitors between July 25 and August 24. There will be broadcasts of the Olympic opening/closing ceremonies and competition events, display of information about Olympic Games and Equestrian Events, cultural and entertainment activities, etc. Information and suggested itineraries will be provided to visitors on site to promote Hong Kong’s exciting shopping and dining experience, as well as its diversified portfolio of tourist attractions.
TC has sponsored a Government Announcement of Public Interest for promotion of the hospitality culture to complement the staging of the Events. HKTB has arranged mounting of banners at ports of entry and Olympic-themed decorations on visitor directional signage at tourist areas. HKTB and TC, in collaboration with HAB and the Equestrian Company, have also organised topical briefings and familiarisation visits for the travel trade members at all levels since February 2008.
Other than visitors who are interested in the Equestrian Events, the Beijing Olympic Games will also attract a large number of Olympic fans to Hong Kong. The promotional activities will entice them to revisit Hong Kong and recommend our city to their friends and families.
Who’s in and who’s out
With the huge influx of visitors, one of the biggest jobs in ensuring the Events to proceed without a hitch falls to the Immigration Department (ImmD) which set up the Special Tactical Agency, consisting of four members, at its Airport Division in April 2008 to plan for the Events.
ImmD is tasked with facilitating the importation and exportation of horses and grooms at the airport, the entry/exit clearance of VIPs and participating teams while maintaining its usual effective immigration and security control. The biggest challenge is to ensure that it undertakes its Olympic duties to the best of its ability while maintaining effective immigration control.
ImmD anticipates additional thousands of visitors will be attracted by the Events via the airport.
According to its Contingency Plan for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian Events, ImmD will take a proactive approach to work in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, especially the Hong Kong Police Force in intelligence-gathering and exchange before and during the Events.
ImmD will also guard against service disruption at control points and immigration offices resulting from any unforeseen incidents, including system and power failures.
A Three Tier Response System is adopted to handle different levels of emergency. Low level and moderate level of emergency are respectively handled by division and branch heads. In the event of a high level of emergency, the Deputy Director of ImmD will take charge of the command and give strategic directives to subject branch heads as appropriate.
Close liaison has been maintained between ImmD and its Mainland counterparts for the exchange of information and ideas in order to ensure the smooth running of the Events.