With travel restrictions eased, Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) initiated a mega fam trip that brought 60 travel trade representatives from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore to shore, showcasing the destination’s latest tourism draws and winter festivities.
The event, which ran from December 13 to 17, set a milestone in Hong Kong’s return to tourism normality since the start of the pandemic.
According to a HKTB spokesperson, it is also the first fam trip to Hong Kong for its travel trade partners.
“The fam trip will inspire these South-east Asian trade representatives to introduce brand new tourism products, share Hong Kong’s tourism appeal to visitors in their respective market, and bring them back to Hong Kong as soon as possible,” said the spokesperson.
Participants visited new attractions such as Hong Kong Palace Museum in West Kowloon Cultural District, experienced Hong Kong’s authentic local culture through Hong Kong Neighbourhood – West Kowloon, indulged in new rides and performances at Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL), Ocean Park Hong Kong and Water World Ocean Park Hong Kong, and more.
Another aspect of the fam trip was a full-day meeting where more than 120 local travel trade representatives met with the South-east Asian delegation to discuss business opportunities.
Commenting on the success of the fam trip, Eva Lau, director, sales, Hong Kong and international with HKDL, told TTG Asia: “We believe seeing is believing. We also see this fam trip as a great opportunity to reconnect with the agents, to reignite the magic with them, and make HKDL a top-of-mind destination again.”
Lau added that there is potential to create more travel promotions to benefit travel agent partners and their guests.
According to HKTB, South-east Asia is a crucial source market for Hong Kong. Recent arrival data showed that regional travellers were among the first to return to Hong Kong.
HKTB executive director Dane Cheng said in a statement that a global promotional campaign is in the pipeline to “drive the full revival of Hong Kong’s tourism together” with various sectors across the city.
HKDL’s Lau revealed that another fam trip kicked off yesterday, on December 19, for the Japanese Tour Operators Association. HKDL is also preparing for trade fairs in the Philippines and Thailand early next year.
“We have also resumed our presence in key markets by making physical sales visits to our trade partners in the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and soon Malaysia and Indonesia. So far, we are the first attraction in Hong Kong that has done so. More visits will be scheduled in the coming months,” Lau said.
On a broader scale, Hong Kong’s reopening to travellers is expected to catalyse Asia-wide travel recovery, opined Mayur Patel, head of Asia, OAG Aviation.
“Hong Kong enjoys proximity to some of the fastest growing markets in the region. Cathay Pacific is adding some 1.16 million seats across its network this month, and it expects the adjustments will help boost travel sentiments. That is about 30 per cent compared with previous month’s (seat numbers), so you can see that’s quite an aggressive move forward,” he added. – Additional reporting by Prudence Lui