Almost 100,000 free tickets to the city's first gourmet market this weekend, under the Happy Hong Kong campaign at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai were all distributed within eight hours yesterday.
However, some residents queuing up said they would prefer more consumption vouchers than the government using public funds to host consumption events.
The 100,000 tickets to the Wan Chai event were available at Home Affairs inquiry centers across 18 districts starting at 8am and each person could take two tickets at one time.
Home Affairs Department said at 3.42pm that the distribution was completed, but it has reserved a few tickets for walk-ins.
While the entrance to the food fair is free, visitors still have to buy their favorite products. But food companies participating at the fair said there will be sample food tastings.
More than 100 people queued outside the Sham Shui Po Home Affairs Enquiry Centre in the morning.
"I decided to come to the center to get a ticket as soon as I heard about the event. There will be food tasting and a lot of choices," Wong said.
Another resident Chan, said he did not even know about the food fairs but decided to get a ticket anyway.
"I don't know about the event but I still want to get the tickets. I will go to the fair if it suits my interest," he said.
Around 70 people queued outside the Kwun Tong center.
A woman, Hung, said she queued three times to collect six tickets in hopes to visit the food fair with friends.
"We don't usually know about various types of cuisine in Hong Kong, so I want to seize the opportunity," she said.
But another citizen, who collected two tickets, slammed the government for wasting public money.
The authorities should distribute money or more consumption vouchers, or organize other events that do not require people to spend money, she said.
Queues were seen at the Wan Chai and Eastern district offices, with some enthusiastic about the event.
"As the government has just issued the consumption voucher, I want to go to the gourmet market to see if there's anything I like," a man, Lo, said.
"Elderly citizens are happy to have fun at these events as they can walk around and eat," another woman Cheung said.
But lawmaker Doreen Kong Yuk-foon said the gourmet market might not boost the SAR's economy.
Hongkongers' depression during the Covid
pandemic has dissipated as the SAR resumes normality, but they are now worried about financial pressure and rising prices, Kong said.
She suggested the government should hold activities benefiting the public and assist grassroots communities in need.
Meanwhile, movie director Ho Cheuk-tin said cinemas will see full house on Cinema Day this Saturday, which allows movie lovers to watch a movie for only HK$30.