Travel-starved revellers boost LKF in holidays

The chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group says the bar and nightlife district did record business during the Christmas and New Year period, as travellers stayed in Hong Kong for the holidays and spent their money on dining and partying.

Allan Zeman told RTHK’s Hong Kong Today programme on Monday that business during the holidays was up 25 percent on pre-pandemic levels.

The bar industry had suffered because of social distancing measures, but Zeman said business had picked up in the previous six months as quarantine requirements made international travel difficult.

“It was a record year for the bars and restaurants,” he told RTHK’s Samantha Butler. “I guess the fact that less people can travel outside and more people stayed in Hong Kong … they just went out and released all their pent-up desire to travel and went out and spent money on both Christmas and New Year.”

Zeman also said the bar industry had little to fear from the introduction of its vaccine bubble arrangement to the industry early this year. Under rules to be introduced before Lunar New Year, people will have to show they’ve received at least one vaccine dose to enter restaurants, gyms, cinemas, beauty salons and libraries.

“If we look at the statistics, most of the people who have not been vaccinated, I think 20 percent, are over 80, and … they’re not really your customer base, especially in the Lan Kwai Fong area.

“I think people adjust to it now. Every club, bar, restaurant makes sure that people are vaccinated.”