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Hong Kong, New York or Rio: Best City for New Year’s?

Hong Kong, New York or Rio: Best City for New Year’s?
Despite the challenges, Hong Kong welcomes visitors every day while social unrest is continuing in this Chinese territory. Tourism officials in Hong Kong went all out to make sure travelers will have the time of their lives when making Hong Kong their city break destination, and it starts with the New Year.

Hong Kong, New York and Rio had been selected as the three most exciting places to ring in the New Year. eTurboNews asked 1,000 randomly-picked travel industry professionals where they wanted to go and Celebrate the New Year 2019/2020 and if they had a choice between Hong Kong, New York, or Rio. 398 picked Hong Kong, 351 said New York, and 251 voted for Rio.

Hong Kong may have been a surprise for many following the news on protests and social unrest.

The iconic Victoria Harbor still serves as a magnet for visitors wanting to explore Hong Kong as protests are becoming routine in parts of the city. There is a reason why Hong Kong may be the world’s most exciting city to ring in the New Year.

With instant updates about the latest situation around the city on its website and communication platforms, tourists can feel at ease, even during the ongoing challenges the city is still dealing with.

Tourists always felt safe in Hong Kong, even during the ongoing challenges the city is still dealing with.

A Symphony of Light and a Lucky Draw will make visitors and residents in Hong Kong forget some of their social issues when the city is ushering in the New Year. Hong Kong will show the reason why the city, also known as the City of Light, will emerge as one of the top hot spots on the globe to say Happy New Year.

HKTB, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, is preparing for it – and it will be huge.

Competing 13 time hours behind is the Times Square Ball in New York City. Located on the roof of One Times Square, the ball is a prominent part of a New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square commonly referred to as the ball drop where the ball descends down a specially-designed flagpole, beginning at 11:59:00 p.m., and resting at midnight to signal the start of the New Year. The festivities will be preceded by live entertainment, including performances by well-known musicians. Tens of thousands of police officers will have the task of protecting millions of joining the celebrations in the Big Apple.

Réveillon, Rio’s New Year’s celebration, is one of the world’s largest in the world as well. Keep your change and wallet in a safe place, though, because crime has been on the rise here.

Dressed in white like Candomblé priestesses, millions of locals and visitors in Rio de Janeiro line the city’s miles of beaches throwing flowers into the waves at midnight for the African sea goddess Yemanjá whose traditions have become mixed with the Virgin Mary. Afterward, the streets, bars, and restaurants fill with parties, dancing, and music.

When it comes to temperature, Rio would be the big winner with beach parties at Copa Cabana. The temperatures in Hong Kong are definitely more pleasant compared to a below zero expected in New York.

In Hong Kong you should get ready for an enhanced edition of one of the world’s largest light and music shows – A Symphony of Lights. It will ring in 2020 with a kaleidoscope of lighting effects that will highlight Hong Kong’s stunning skyline. A live feed of the entire show lasting around 10 minutes will be on HKTB’s YouTube and Facebook page so that the international audience can share in the festivities.

At 11:59 pm on December 31, 2019, the façade of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) will turn into a giant clock to countdown to the New Year. Once the clock strikes 00:00, an enriched version of the multimedia show, A Symphony of Lights, will commence.

In addition to lasers, searchlights, LED screens, and other lighting effects at numerous harbor-front buildings, the New Year countdown special edition will be synchronized with pyrotechnics launched from building rooftops and the display of “2020” on the façade of the HKCEC.

Another novelty of the countdown event is a territory-wide lucky draw organized for the very first time to enrich the festive ambiance. Both in-town visitors and locals can participate through simple registration on the event website between 6:00 pm and 11:30 pm (Hong Kong time) on December 31, 2019. Ten lucky winners will each be awarded 4 return economy-class tickets sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways for traveling to/from Hong Kong. With 2 of the tickets, the winners can invite their families and friends living abroad to visit Hong Kong.

For more information about the Hong Kong New Year Countdown event, please visit the HKTB website:

More information on watching the Ball Drop in New York can be found by clicking here, and for the World Celebration in Rio click here.

Both Hong Kong and New York New Year’s celebrations will be available for millions to watch around the world by live feed, and Hong Kong will have the lead 13 hours before New York.