Hong Kong outlines roadmap for tourism recovery

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) will be partnering the local travel trade to devise a long-term strategy and recovery plan for the city’s tourism industry, as it foresees a new tourism landscape post-pandemic.

The announcement was made during a recent web conference helmed by HKTB chairman YK Pang and executive director Dane Cheng to provide the local travel trade with updates on Hong Kong’s tourism development and introduce the HKTB’s strategic framework for recovery.

Hong Kong rolls out three-phase plan to boost the city’s tourism

During the conference, which was attended by nearly 1,500 industry stakeholders, Cheng said that the HKTB has devised a three-phase plan to reinvigorate the city’s tourism.

The plan complements the tourism board’s allocation of HK$400 million (US$51 million) to support promotions by the trade once Covid-19 is over.

In the ongoing phase one (“Resilience”), the HKTB is preparing a recovery plan for Hong Kong’s tourism industry.

In phase two (“Recovery”), when the pandemic shows signs of abating, the HKTB will first focus on promoting domestic tourism by encouraging locals to rediscover different neighbourhoods and community cultures in order to send a positive message to visitors and restore their confidence in the city.

As well, the HKTB will launch tactical promotions with the trade in selected markets based on the developments of individual markets to stimulate people’s interest to visit Hong Kong.

In phase three (“Relaunch”), mega events and a new tourism brand campaign will be launched to rebuild Hong Kong’s tourism image.

Pang said that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to Hong Kong tourism and ground global tourism to a halt.

He added: “The tourism landscape will be reshaped. In the post-pandemic world, we will see a shift in preference and behaviour among travellers – the public health conditions of destinations, and the hygiene standards of transportations, hotels and other tourism facilities will become a top priority; people will prefer short-haul breaks and shorter itineraries; wellness-themed trips will become a new trend.

“It is in fact an ideal time for us to review and rethink Hong Kong’s position in the global tourism market and elevate service standards. Together with the travel trade, the HKTB is going to map out the long-term development strategy for our tourism industry.”

Representatives from the HKTB’s worldwide offices also participated in the meeting to provide insights into the latest developments in various
market regions: mainland China, short-haul and new markets, and long-haul markets.

In mainland China, given the economic fallout from the virus, consumers will become more price-conscious and pursue value-for-money holidays. After prolonged confinement, visitors will also place greater emphasis on health and nature. For future trips, they will also favour destinations that pose low risks to health.

Domestic and regional travel will lead the way for tourism recovery, and regional destinations will see fiercer competition in the wake of the pandemic. In Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, the young and middle-aged segments will be the most eager to travel. Green tourism and the outdoors will be favoured, while short-haul travel will be preferred due to financial and holiday leave constraints.

Long-haul markets will take longer to recover, with outbound travel to resume in 4Q2020 at the earliest. Ethnic Asian visitors are expected to be the first to visit Hong Kong after the pandemic; while Canada, France and Germany is likely to recover faster than other feeder markets.

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