No true Hong Konger can deny that Cityline has been a part of our lives just as it has been a part of the growth of Hong Kong and its rich cultural tapestry. JOSEPH LEE joins the dots to reveal a most fascinating picture.

Cityline was established in 1993. “The company started by providing ticket purchase with credit card function through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) to cinemas in Hong Kong. Customers could purchase cinema tickets using their credit card and can collect tickets by swiping the credit card used for purchase at Cityline’s Ticketing Dispensing Machines located at cinemas,” says Joseph Lee, its President and CEO. 

“The system then had 8 phone lines at launch and grew to 48 phone lines within a year. This service was very innovative at the time and we could well be the first company introducing this kind of service in Asia,” says Lee, proudly.

Cityline’s ticketing web site, Cityline. com, was launched in 1997. Customers could purchase cinema and event tickets on the Internet using credit cards. In 2001, Cityline launched its operator-assisted call centre hotline. In the same year, Cityline became the exclusive call centre and Internet ticketing agent for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s (LCSD) URBTIX events. The URBTIX ticketing website and URBTIX Telephone Credit Card Booking hotline was also launched that year.

Greater Reach

In 2005, Cityline launched the Internet ticketing platform with credit card payment service to one of the largest theme parks in Hong Kong and replaced UA Cinemas’ mainframe ticketing system with Cityline’s self-developed Universal Ticketing System (UTS). It also partnered with PCCW to provide real-time ticketing service on Now TV. Most important of all, Cityline was awarded the Tender for Provision of Dynamic Back-end Ticketing System and Related Services to the LCSD. The new URBTIX system was successfully soft-launched in 2006 and officially launched in 2007.

In 2008, with the successes in providing ticketing systems to cinema operators and performance venue operators, Cityline collaborated with various music stores to open ticketing outlets. “Together with both website and telephone booking call centres, we offer a multiple sales channel total ticketing solution to event organizers mounting events in Hong Kong, China and Macau.”

Ability to Innovate

“Tickets – Anytime – Anywhere” is Cityline’s slogan. Over the years, Cityline has been introducing new features and services to provide convenience to patrons when buying tickets. Our aim is to continually improve patrons’ overall experience in areas relating to ticketing, such as providing event information, searching for events, buying tickets with multiple sales channels, various payment methods and flexible ticket fulfillment. Cityline has a proven record in its service offerings to ticketing solution customers in Hong Kong and China.”

Days Ahead

“We will enrich our service offering portfolio by adding elements related to Big Data analytics, mobile payment, e-ticket, admission control, etc.,” says Lee. Besides providing ticketing solutions to corporate customers, Cityline will leverage its experience in e-commerce and online payment to provide e-commerce solutions to customers in other industries such education, retail and transportation.

“While obstacles remain, our spirit of challenge and entrepreneurship remains evergreen, thanks to the dedication and loyalty of the staff and the team’s continuous effort in pursuing excellence and innovation.”

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