Boost the charm of Hong Kong's Night Markets with multicultural characteristics
【譯文】Starting from 15 December 2023, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched a six-month Temple Street Night Market, which includes the addition of 22 speciality food stalls and 10 nostalgic snack stalls at the Archway, operating daily from 2 pm to 11 pm. Temple Street used to be the representative of Hong Kong's night markets. The Government and the industry should revitalise Temple Street by combining the old and the new, retaining Hong Kong's traditional characteristics while introducing new innovative elements, especially combining local cultural creativity with the latest trends, and incorporating such elements as internet celebrity check-in points to attract customers, so as to rebuild the long-term attractiveness of the Temple Street.
The Government has launched the “Hong Kong Night Vibes” campaign with a series of events to revitalise the city's nightlife, and the revitalisation of the Temple Street Night Market is one of the important projects. The most distinctive feature of the newly launched Temple Street Night Market is the combination of tradition and innovation, with both nostalgic and trendy food stalls, where you find traditional Hong Kong street snacks such as Siu Mai, fish balls, Three Fried Stuffed Treasures, and beef offal, as well as newly introduced varieties such as Turkish coffee and kebabs, to satisfy the taste of the new generation. Meanwhile, the new Temple Street Night Market has invited ethnic minority residents in the district to join, which is conducive to adding multicultural colours and enriching the types of snacks and the characteristics of events.
In addition to snacks, Temple Street needs to introduce more cultural flavour to meet the needs of residents and tourists. In the past, Temple Street was a display area for folk crafts and folk culture, where traditional culture and fashion trends mingled to reflect the spirit and living conditions of Hong Kong, and it was only in this way that tourists at home and abroad could be attracted to learn about Hong Kong through Temple Street. Therefore, in the past, there were antiques, old records, old wall paintings, etc. On Temple Street, as well as fortune-telling stalls, and activities such as singing Cantonese songs and pop songs, making the night market ambience more bustling.
Good attractions also need effective publicity to make a name for themselves. In particular, the new generation in the mainland are fond of in-depth tours and use short videos and social media such as “Little Red Book” and “Douyin” to find attractions to “check in” and consume. The HKTB should make more use of social media platforms for publicity, so that tourists will have a new understanding and impression of the city and will be motivated to visit and consume here. According to media reports, many people have already introduced Temple Street on the “Little Red Book”, and some posts describe it as “Hong Kong in the film” by famous director Wong Kar-wai, combining the street with Hong Kong’s film and television culture, thus greatly enhancing its attractiveness.
As a next step, the HKTB can invite some internet celebrities to visit the site, and it can also develop some mini-games and VR videos to provide tourists with immersive consumption experiences, thereby better promoting the charm of Temple Street.
Temple Street is a microcosm of Hong Kong's night markets, and the revitalisation of Temple Street has symbolic significance for reviving Hong Kong's night life. The re-opening of the Temple Street Night Market has made a good start. The Government and the industry should continue to rack their brains, draw on collective wisdom, keep abreast of the times and innovate according to the changes in the consumption pattern of the public and tourists, and develop more night market consumer products and services with special characteristics and selling points based on retaining the traditional characteristics.
In addition to the Temple Street Night Market, this year's Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo kicked off on 16 December 2023, and a free admission arrangement after 7 pm has been introduced this year in the hope of further revitalising the night market economy. As long as the Government and the industry can make concerted efforts to identify the right characteristics, it will certainly be possible to promote the long-term sustainable development of the night market economy and rebuild a bustling and prosperous Hong Kong at night.