The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival came to an end yesterday. Visits and revenue were expected to increase this year although drone performances at on Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled due to GPS interference, reports said.
Kicked off on 25 October, the 10th Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival featured drone performances for the first time but on 27 (Saturday) and 28 (Sunday) October, the shows were forced to cancel after some machines crashed into Victoria Harbour on Saturday night.
According to South China Morning Post, organisers said someone jammed the GPS signal, leading to about 40 of the 100 machines involved in the display damaged. The police has been investigating the incident and initially it has ruled out the possibility that the machines had been hacked.
The drones were used to light up the night sky with an array of LED colours, in an aerial choreography of animated patterns over Victoria Harbour, showcasing the shapes of wine bottles, glasses and letters of W and D.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board said they were angry with the incident, which may damage Hong Kong’s reputation. Anthony Lau, executive of Hong Kong Toursim Board, said the worst thing was to disappoint the public and tourists.
However, Lau said the festival had received about 120,000 visitors in the first three days, 20% more than the same period last year. The Hong Kong Tourism Board expected the total number to reach 140,000 this year.
The festival was highly popular among Hongkongers. Apple Daily and HK01 cited some companies that this year’s festival was the best in terms of the number of visitors and atmosphere. Also, customers were willing spend and they expected the the revenue would increase by up to 50%.