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URBTIX ticketing system and service to be upgraded

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will introduce a new, more cost-effective and user-friendly ticketing system in mid-2006.

"With the new ticketing system, patrons will enjoy more event information, zoom-in display of seat selection for internet ticketing, a faster network and ticket purchase and seat selection on a 24-hour basis," an LCSD spokesman said.

The spokesman said today (March 24) that the department had awarded a seven-year contract to CityLine (HK) Ltd to provide the new system through open tender, to cater for customer needs and future development.

Under the contract, CityLine will, at its own cost, develop, provide, install, support and maintain the new backend ticketing system for LCSD in return for a backend system service fee on the basis of each ticket sold by URBTIX.

The existing URBTIX ticketing system began operating in 1984 and was last upgraded in 1995. Over the years, it has earned a reputation for its reliable and convenient ticketing services to event promoters and ticket buyers.

But the department was committed to identifying a cost-effective ticketing system with advanced functions to replace the existing system to cater for customer needs and future development, the spokesman said.

The new system will feature ticketing functions not currently provided by the existing system.

"It will provide zoom-in display for seat selection and online updating of seat inventories for Internet ticketing, user-friendly graphical interface and capacity for enriched event information," the spokesman said.

"With the new system, customers staying at home, in the office, or anywhere in the world, may select seats on the Internet, and buy the tickets, the same as those being sold at ticket sale outlets, on a 24-hour basis.

"And, under the new system, existing ticket sale outlets will also be upgraded with new terminals, a faster network and customer-oriented monitors to facilitate seat selection by the customer over the counters."

The spokesman said the new system would be more robust and would readily support a further increase in sales channels up to 120 real-time Internet customers, on top of terminals at the outlets and other places and will be able to accommodate 10 times the current seating capacity to serve additional venues.

The bilingual system will have more capacity to display additional event information for the benefit of users and customers.

"The new tickets will also have unique bar codes for enhanced security verification," the spokesman said.

When the new system is implemented mid-next year, the contractor will operate the Internet and telephone ticketing services while the LCSD will continue to operate the front-end ticketing services such as box office, telephone reservations and enquiries, accounting, information support and event set-up programming.

The existing URBTIX ticketing system handled 3.5 million ticket sales in 2003-04 with a total value of $439 million for more than 6,400 performances staged in various venues.

Ends/Thursday, March 24, 2005

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