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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Sha Tau Kok tour applications open

Up to 1,000 tourists per day will be allowed to visit all parts of Sha Tau Kok, except Chung Ying Street, after applying online for a Closed Area Permit (CAP) as the boundary town is set to further open up in 2024.


The second phase opening-up of Sha Tau Kok will begin on January 1 and the quota for next month is now open for applications by Hong Kong residents or visitors to Hong Kong.


The daily tourist quota includes 700 tour group visitors and 300 individual tourists, who may visit Sha Tau Kok from 7am to 9pm on the date they have applied for.


Travel agencies or tourists can log onto the Hong Kong Police Force Online Applications Platform to apply for a free electronic Tourism CAP on a first-come, first-served basis.


The application process takes three working days. The quota for January is now open for application. Subsequently, applications will be open on the first day of each month for all the quotas in the following month.


Tourists may also contact licensed travel agents directly to sign up for tours visiting Sha Tau Kok, and the agents will handle the application procedures.


The second phase opening-up features the Chung Ying Street Garden located in front of the Chung Ying Street Checkpoint, where visitors will find a viewing deck and a replica of an old railway station in Hong Kong as well as a model actual-size locomotive.


The Fish Lantern Square that displays scenes of the national intangible cultural heritage “Sha Tau Kok fish-lantern dance” is also a must-see.


Other new attractions include the old Sha Tau Kok Fire Station, mural paintings at Shun Ping Street, Sha Tau Kok Pier, the Guangzhou-style arcade complex “San Lau Street”, the statutory monument Hip Tin Temple, and more.


Individual visitors must take public transport to Sha Tau Kok as private vehicle access is not allowed.


They may take bus route Nos. 78S (express) or 78K at MTR Sheung Shui or Fanling stations; minibus route No. 55K at MTR Sheung Shui Station and alight at the terminal; or bus route No. 277A at MTR Lam Tin Station.

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