Land use Strategy for hotel development in Hong Kong


Chapter 4 Land Use Planning & Land and Building Controls on Hotel Development 4. 1 Introduction Looking at the existing Building and Planning Ordinances, there are two major issue related to hotel development. "One relates to the intensity of development permitted on a particular site for hotels compared to other forms of land use. The second relates to the zoning system and the zoning designations which enable the development of hotels. Under the existing legal framework, hotels are treated as 'Domestic' under the Building (Planning) Regulations but as 'Commercial' under the planning system"15.

4. 2 Building Administration A hotel is regarded as a composite building under the Building (Planning) Regulations. The hotel room portion has been treated as domestic rather than commercial use by the Building Authority. Hotels and serviced apartments were viewed as places where people sleep, hence, be designed as domestic premises to safeguard the health and safety of the inhabitants. There was also a fear that if hotels were permitted to develop at the same intensity as commercial development, they could be converted into sub-standard residential premises.

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For these reasons, domestic (8-10) rather than non-domestic (15) plot ratios were applied to hotels. In view of the drawbacks suffered by hotel development, the Building Authority offers specific concessions for hotel development. This is to give appropriate incentive to offset the lower domestic plot ratio allowed for the hotel portion of the hotel development. The most important plot ratio concession available is the exclusion of basement areas which have often been used for retails as well as back of the house services and hotel offices.

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4. 3 Land Use Planning Under the current planning system, there is no specific zoning for hotels. There are allowed "as of right" in "Commercial" zones. Developer may apply to the Town Planning Board (TPB) 15. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong : Land for Hotel Development, Hong Kong, p. 24. - 6 - for hotel development on Residential (A) {plot ratio 8} and (B) {plot ratio 5}. Other possible locations for hotel development will be within Comprehensive Development Area (CDA).

According to the Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong, "the majority of existing hotels are in Commercial zones and the majority of the committed new hotel projects are in CDA"16. This illustrated are two very significant indications on land use planning, on one hand, a considerable proportion of the existing hotels could be vulnerable to redevelopment for offices. On the other hand, most of the committed hotel projects are coming from a special zoning system through CDA.

Due to the nature of the markets for offices and for hotels is so different, within any given zone, it is evident that hotels development cannot compete with office development as the different in returns is so great. Having said that, it is worth to note that both the Lands Department and the Financial Services Branch are keen to adhere to the concept that market forces should continue to prevail. Hence, hotels, offices and other type of land uses allowed in Commercial zone should compete for land resources.

In this way, economic forces will govern the allocation of land resource to different uses and not urban planning. 4. 4 Land Administration During a working session with the relevant government departments on the hotel situation in Hong Kong, the Lands Department pointed out that there would be a significant loss of land premium if specific zoning for hotels were adopted. However, it is worth to note that for a 600-room hotel, it may produce a minimum contribution to the economy of approximately HK$301 million per annum17.

As remarked in the Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong, "the practice of open commercial zoning might satisfy the objective of maximising revenue to government on land sales/premiums.... , it does not, satisfy the objective of the Town Planning Ordinance to provide the full range of uses needed for the welfare of the community and does not take into account the opportunity cost of the longer term economic contribution of the hotel"18. Chapter 5 Proposed Land Use Measures 5. 1 Short Term Measures

Everyone in the tourism industry, particular those involved in hotel business are aware that it will take at least three to four years for a hotel to be operational even with a site and all the necessary building approvals. However, in view of the current hotel supply situation, there will be a sharp shortage of new hotel rooms from 1995 to 1998, hence, some short term measures are worth considering to bring on line some additional rooms. 16. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong : Land for Hotel Development, Hong Kong, p. 26.

17. The calculation of the economic contribution of a 600-room hotel is as follow: {600 rooms x 365 days / 3. 9 nights (average length of stay)} x 80% average annual occupancy x HK$6,699 per capita spending of visitor. 18. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong : Land for Hotel Development, Hong Kong, pp. 29-30. - 7 - There are some possible short team feasible measures19 that could be adopted to possibly meet the short term need, these are: 1. Floating Hotels - they may need special berthing facilities and connection with shore.

However, this is the quickest way to bring immediate addition of hotel rooms in substantial quantity. It is highly feasible and viable, example could be found in major events, such as World Exposition, Olympic Games, where hosting city would bring in these facilities to meet the short term accommodation requirements. 2. Apartments - encourage the greater use of serviced apartments in conversion of domestic premises under regulated conditions. It may be necessary to amend the Guest House Ordinance. 3. Hotel Extensions - Encourage existing hotel to build extensions through an increase in permissible plot ratio.

The more likely result will be additional floors on top of the existing building. 5. 2 Medium & Long Term Measures Other short term measures20 are essential for producing more capacity in the medium and long term. They may involve changes in policies and administrative procedures, they are: 1. Specific Zoning Designate a number of suitable sites, particularly on the new reclamations, along the airport link, and accessible areas in new territories, as OU21 (Hotel) or CDA (with requirements on hotel component specified). 2. Plot Ratio

Change the Building (Planning) Regulations with immediate effect so that the plot ratio allowed for a hotel development is the same as non-domestic buildings. 3. Control The change in plot ratio may encourage existing hotel to redevelop in order to maximize the permissible floor space. Section 16 applications are required for development in this connection. 4. G/IC Buildings Multi-storey car park in inner urban areas, such as the Rumsey Street car park, Murray Road car park, Middle Road car park, Hung Hom KCR Station car park, with changes on the zoning can be converted into hotel cum multi-storey car park.

A good example of this composite uses is the Kornhill Plaza. 19. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong : Land for Hotel Development, Hong Kong, p. 31. 20. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong : Land for Hotel Development, Hong Kong, p. 32. 21. OU is a term used in government zoing plans and it stands for other uses. - 9 - Chapter 6 Conclusions 6. Conclusions Important policy decisions are urgently needed to enable and encourage hotel development to progress in a quicker pace.

To enable the tourism industry to grow in a steady and healthy manner, it would be ideal if all the above suggested measures could be introduced as a comprehensive package of measures. Although hotel development depends very much on investment from the private sector, the government still got a major and significant role to play, that is, to build and to maintain a favourable and fair environment where hotel developers could battle against other development.

If no action is being taken to rectify the current situation, the tourism industry can look forward to insufficient new hotels being built and more hotels being redevelopment for offices; reduced in growth in visitor arrivals due to high room rate; substantial loss of tourism receipts as contribution to the economy; and most important of all, a loss of reputation of Hong Kong as the best travel destination in Asia. oo0oo References: 1. Hong Kong Government (1992), Hotel and Guest House Accommodation Ordinance (Cap.349), Hong Kong.

2. Hong Kong Government (1994), Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131), Hong Kong. 3. Hong Kong Government (1994), Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines: Residential Densities, Hong Kong. 4. Hong Kong Government (1994), Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines: Internal Transport Facilities, Hong Kong. 5. Hong Kong Government (1995), Hong Kong 1994 - A Review of 1993, Hong Kong. 6. Hong Kong Hotel Associations (1995), Hong Kong Hotel Industry 1994, Hong Kong. 7.

Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong: Land for Hotel Development, Hong Kong 8. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1994), A Statistical Review of Tourism 1993, Hong Kong. 9. Hong Kong Tourist Association (1995), Visitor Profile Report 1994, Hong Kong. 10. Planning Department (1993), Territorial Development Strategy Review - Development Options, Hong Kong. 11. Planning, Environment and Lands Branch (1991), Comprehensive Review of the Town Planning Ordinance - Consultative Document, Hong Kong.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Land use Strategy for hotel development in Hong Kong. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Land use Strategy for hotel development in Hong Kong essay
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