HKTB lays groundwork for tourism recovery

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is preparing to ramp up marketing efforts in its key source markets, and hopes to relaunch mega events in physical formats to prepare for tourism recovery.

The plans were revealed by HKTB executive director Dane Cheng at the Board’s annual Tourism Update event on Tuesday (May 18). During the online event, Cheng discussed tourism trends and shared details of the HKTB’s latest strategic plans with around 2,700 trade representatives from Hong Kong, mainland and overseas.

At the HKTB’s Tourism Update event, YK Pang (left) and Dane Cheng appealed to everyone in tourism-related industries to take part in the vaccination programme 

Cheng told the representatives the HKTB was preparing to step up promotions and would launch a new round of the Hong Kong Neighbourhoods campaign. In addition, the HKTB also hopes to relaunch mega events in physical formats.

Cheng said: “As well as driving local tourism through the Holiday at Home platform, the HKTB has maintained Hong Kong’s international profile with a succession of promotional campaigns throughout the pandemic.

“The global economy has started to rebound with Asia predicted to recover sooner and the Mainland expected to outperform other markets in economic growth. Combined with the gradual easing of the pandemic situation in Hong Kong, this makes it a good time for Hong Kong to further raise its profile. As cross-border travel gradually resumes, the HKTB will launch the Open House Hong Kong platform to conduct large-scale promotions in our source markets.”

The HKTB has, in recent years, launched two promotions, Old Town Central and Sham Shui Po, under its Hong Kong Neighbourhoods campaign, offering in-depth experiences to visitors.

To tie in with the opening of M+ visual culture venue in late 2021, the HKTB will focus its next promotion on the West Kowloon Cultural District and its surrounding area in the next quarter by revamping the promotions on the authentic local cultural aspects of the neighbourhood to help boost interest from visitors as travel resumption draws closer.

If the pandemic situation in the city remains under control, the HKTB also hopes to relaunch mega events that Hong Kong people can initially take part in. The first event to return in a physical format will be the Hong Kong Cyclothon, and the HKTB is studying the feasibility of extending its route to the Hong Kong Section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to add to the event’s appeal.

For other mega events to be conducted in a hybrid format, new elements of interests will be added to maintain Hong Kong’s global visibility. The HKTB will also continue to lobby for international large-scale business events and meetings to be hosted in Hong Kong.

Noting that the pace of global tourism recovery will be determined by how the pandemic unfolds and the vaccination rate worldwide, the HKTB is appealing to tourism workers to take part in the vaccination programme and help Hong Kong achieve herd immunity as soon as possible.

At the event, representatives from leading Mainland and Hong Kong brands also shared their insights at two forums titled “Seize the Business Development Opportunities in the Mainland and Greater Bay Area” and “Global Hong Kong Brands Gear Up for the Recovery”. Guests at the forums discussed the way forward for tourism and the preparation works.

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