Media Enquiry


Subscribe to news alert

Back to Press Release
1 Dec

Xmas Wishing Tree Lights up Hong Kong’s Winter of Festivities, Presented by New World Development

With the lights of Hong Kong's tallest outdoor Xmas Wishing Tree shining brightly and the festive illuminations on the buildings of its magnificent skyline blazing out across Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong WinterFest was officially launched this evening (1 December).

Presented by New World Development Company Limited and organised by the HKTB, Hong Kong WinterFest brings together a series of seasonal tourism-related events and activities and is the fifth major programme of the City of Life: Hong Kong is it! tourism campaign.

Tonight's switch-on ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square was performed by the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong SAR Government, The Hon Antony Leung, GBS, JP, with the assistance of HKTB Chairman The Hon Mrs Selina Chow, GBS, OBE, JP; The Hong Kong Jockey Club's Chief Executive Mr Lawrence Wong, representing The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Principal Sponsor of the City of Life: Hong Kong is it! campaign, and New World Development Company Limited Chairman Dr Cheng Yu-Tung.

They were joined by Commissioner for Tourism Mrs Rebecca Lai, JP; Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Ms Grace Lui, JP; Acting Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Mr Johnny Woo, JP; the HKTB's Executive Director Ms Clara Chong; and City of Life: Hong Kong is it! Organising Committee Chairman, Mr Philip Chen, SBS, JP.

Hong Kong WinterFest has been designed to bring together a wide range of exciting tourism-related events to create an unforgettable holiday for visitors. Tonight's simultaneous 'lights up' of more than 20 buildings, co-ordinated by property owners on both sides of Victoria Harbour, further showcased Hong Kong's world-renowned harbour views. Complemented by the vivid lighting effects of the giant Xmas Wishing Tree, which Mr Leung used to make his own special wish, it marked the beginning of a fun-filled, five-week extravaganza.

Mrs Chow said that the unique Xmas Wishing Tree, together with the three-day City of Life Street Carnival and other celebratory activities, would give visitors to Hong Kong this Christmas a truly memorable experience.

""The purpose of Hong Kong WinterFest is to bring together a diversity of events and attractions that epitomises Hong Kong's fusion of Eastern and Western cultures,"" she remarked.

""To give our visitors that wonderful experience and make it unforgettable, we have combined Hong Kong's established seasonal attractions with some enticing new elements that we can promote as a package to visitors worldwide."" Mrs Chow explained.

The Wishing Tree stands a chance of gaining recognition as a Guinness World Record for the world's ""Largest All-weather Christmas Wishing Tree"". The 34-metre (110-foot) tall Xmas Wishing Tree is 14 metres (45 feet) in diameter at the base and has eight layers of lighting. The 10-storey high tree is decorated with an eight-foot mirror ball at the top and its main body is covered in more than 4,000 blue and silver Christmas balls. It is also decorated with more than 20,000 light bulbs in four different colours that will be illuminated by a computerised lighting system, which can create 68 different lighting effects.

The tree will light up Victoria Harbour between 6 pm and midnight every night during Hong Kong WinterFest. Wan Chai District Council and Wan Chai District Office are also helping add to the festive atmosphere, by lighting up the surrounding area of Golden Bauhinia Square. Starting from 2 December, HKTB will operate a booth at the venue between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm, during which time visitors and local residents can make their wishes by filling in a "Wish Form". Wish-making can also be done on-line through the HKTB's Web site at After being checked through, all wishes will appear on a giant LED board.

Each night between 8:00-8:30 pm and 9:00-9:30 pm, several wish-makers will be selected and their wishes will be shown again on the LED board. The level of lighting reached on the Xmas Wishing Tree will indicate the likelihood of their wish coming true. On-line wish-makers who are selected will be notified by e-mail in advance, so that they can come to watch the tree trying out their wish. All selected wish-makers will receive a souvenir.

Travel trade members, delegates of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) TELECOM ASIA 2002 exhibition, and winners of a competition entitled My Hong Kong Dream held by the HKTB in the United States, Canada, Mainland China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines also witnessed tonight's Switch-On Ceremony. The winners have been invited to Hong Kong to fulfil their dreams and experience the winter celebrations. More than 70 international media guests were also in Hong Kong to cover Hong Kong WinterFest.

It is expected that visitor arrivals to Hong Kong during Hong Kong WinterFest will reach around 1.7 million, a 16% growth compared with the same period last year. According to latest information, more than 170,000 visitors from short-haul markets alone will join special tours with WinterFest elements.

In addition to the Wishing Tree, a host of exciting activities and events will be on offer for visitors to enjoy this winter. They include various Themed Food Districts, the City of Life Street Carnival, which will take place between 20 and 22 December at Golden Bauhinia Square, and entertainment and food booths at the same location between 20 December and 5 January. For further details, please refer to the fact sheet of Hong Kong WinterFest. 

Hong Kong WinterFest, which is presented by New World Development Company Limited and organised by the HKTB, is the fifth major event of the City of Life: Hong Kong is it! tourism campaign. The campaign is organised by the HKTB in co-operation with the Hong Kong SAR Government's Home Affairs Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Tourism Commission, with the support of the 18 District Councils and with The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust as Principal Sponsor.