Top News HKTB aims to spur local spending with free tours By TTG Asia / Posted on 23 October, 2020 14:25 Residents in Hong Kong are eligible to join a free local tour by spending at least HK$800 (US$103) at brick-and-mortar retail and dining outlets in the city, under a new initiative by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). The launch of the Free Tour programme follows the government’s announcement to exempt local tours from social distancing restrictions – a move that HKTB said will “pave the way for the resumption of travel”. All travel agencies participating in the Free Tour programme need to register their tours with the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC). In addition, they are obligated to sign the Anti-epidemic Undertakings for Local Tours, devised by the TIC to guarantee appropriate epidemic prevention measures are carried out during the free local tours. The new scheme is part of the second phase of HKTB’s Holiday at Home campaign, launched in mid-June to encourage local residents to be tourists in their own city. Phase one saw a series of offers rolled out to stimulate domestic consumption in the travel, hotel, dining and retail sectors. In the second phase of the campaign, the Free Tour programme aims to boost the local economy by giving free Hong Kong tours to local residents. Since October 20, local residents can start collecting machine-printed receipts after shopping and eating at brick-and-mortar retailers and dining outlets. A maximum of two receipts with a minimum spend of HK$800 can be redeemed for each tour. Details of the various free tours on offer, and how to redeem them, will be available on the campaign website from October 27. Eligible local residents can contact the corresponding travel agencies to sign up for their preferred tours. In the first stage of the programme, a total of 10,000 seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The free local tours will kickstart from November 1, and run for two months. Participants can choose from about 50 immersive tours designed by various local travel agencies. A tour guide, return transportation, one meal and basic insurance are included in all tours, each lasting at least half-a-day. Participants will visit at least two points of interest, including social media “check-in” hotspots and unique Hong Kong attractions.