The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will roll out on next Tuesday (December 18) two new measures to improve the online booking system of its recreation and sports facilities.
An LCSD spokesman said today (December 13) that one of the new measures to be introduced on the enhanced Leisure Link System (LLS) is the Online Booking Cancellation Service.
"At present, members of the public who wish to cancel bookings of recreation and sports facilities have to attend LCSD booking counters in person to complete the procedure. This has resulted in some people not cancelling their bookings even if they cannot use the booked sessions, thus resulting in a waste of resources if no one takes them up through the stand-by arrangement.
"The enhancement of the LLS enables hirers who have registered as Leisure Link patrons to cancel their booked facilities via the Internet in a simple and speedy manner.
"The new arrangement not only assists Leisure Link patrons who cannot use their booked sessions to inform the LCSD as soon as practicable, but also enables the early release of the sessions for re-booking by other users, thereby maximising the usage of the facilities," he said.
The Online Booking Cancellation Service will be available to registered Leisure Link patrons only if they have pre-registered their personal data and been given a membership number and a PIN for using the LLS. For those who have not yet registered as Leisure Link patrons, as the LLS does not have their personal data and thus could not verify their identity against that of the original hirers, they still have to attend LCSD booking counters in person in order to cancel booked sessions.
"Hirers of the LCSD's recreation and sports facilities are thus encouraged to register as Leisure Link patrons so that they can make use of the Online Booking Cancellation Service."
Regardless of the mode of cancellation of the bookings (online or in person), the hiring charges already paid at the time of booking will not be refunded. This is to avoid abusive use of the refund arrangement by touts who would otherwise not suffer any financial loss even if they are unable to sell or transfer the booked sessions for profit.
The second new arrangement to be introduced is that the department will cease to accept online bookings for outdoor tennis courts one hour before the sessions begin.
Under the existing arrangement, when an outdoor tennis court has to be closed due to inclement weather, the affected hirer can choose a replacement session within 60 days from the date of the affected session. This is a more favourable treatment than the normal circumstances in which the individual users can only make bookings 30 days in advance. The hirer who is reallocated a replacement session would have more available sessions to choose from for re-booking due to inclement weather.
"To reduce the chance of abusive use of the 60-day reallocation arrangement by people who take advantage of inclement weather and make online bookings just before the session starts, the LCSD will cease to accept online bookings for outdoor tennis sessions one hour before their commencement. Hirers will have to go to the booking counters or self-services kiosks if they want to book outdoor tennis courts less than one hour before the sessions begin," the spokesman said.
Both new arrangements will take effect on December 18.
"The Department will continue to introduce measures to enhance the booking and allocation of recreation and sports facilities as and when they are ready," he added.
For details of the arrangements, please visit the LCSD's website (www.lcsd.gov.hk ) or call the hotline of the Leisure Link Telephone Services Centre at 2314 7702.
Ends/Thursday, December 13, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:31