DAB lawmaker Lau Kwok-fan, who chairs a Legco subcommittee on the arts hub, earlier floated the idea of concessions for locals and higher charges for non-local visitors at the M+ visual arts museum and the Palace Museum.
Tang said the idea, although feasible with M+, would not work at the Palace Museum when it opens in mid-2022 – as all of its exhibits are being loaned from Beijing’s Palace Museum.
“If we are charging them a higher price, then the 1.4 billion mainland compatriots will be angry at us, because they are lending their exhibits to us but we are charging them a higher price,” Tang said.
Tang said the authority would roll out a series of promotions after the pandemic to attract visitors from around the world, saying its cash flow needs improving.
He said although the authority had operating expenses of only HK$900 million in the past financial year – one-third less than expected – it has yet to roll out a project that actually earns money for the authority.
The long-delayed M+ is expected to open later this year, with the Palace Museum slated for opening around the middle of next year.