Hong Kong steps up trade engagements in Indian market

Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has reinstated its physical travel trade engagements in India after a gap of three years from the onset of the pandemic.

The tourism board organised its two-city roadshow covering New Delhi and Mumbai last week, offering destination updates to Indian travel agents. HKTB also participated at South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) between February 9 and 11 in Greater Noida in which 18 suppliers from Hong Kong were present.

Kumar: we don’t see demand softening from the Indian market

“We have shared insights into various tourism-centric developments that took place in Hong Kong in the last three years through our physical trade engagements in India. Travel agents and MICE planners were also educated about the new experiences and other tourism opportunities for them to sell in Hong Kong,” Puneet Kumar, director, South Asia & Middle East, HKTB told TTG Asia during the New Delhi leg of the roadshow.

While the two-city roadshow was focused on the MICE market, the NTO’s participation at SATTE was aimed at a larger trade outreach. HKTB has also planned a mega fam trip for Indian travel agents that will be organised in the first half of the year.

Hong Kong has an exciting line-up of new tourism products like 11 Skies pegged as its largest hub for retail, dining and entertainment and SkyTrack – positioned as the worlds’ largest indoor and outdoor go-karting track.

Kumar shared: “Our focus will be on promoting art and culture, culinary tourism, wellness and the great outdoors of Hong Kong in the Indian market besides new experiences. (For) outdoors, we will be promoting hiking, water sports activities, island hopping and nature-based sightseeing. Not many people know that 70 per cent of Hong Kong’s land mass is green. We are blessed with natural landscapes and scenery that would attract Indians to explore the green side of Hong Kong.”

The Hong Kong SAR Government had previously announced the lifting of all mandatory PCR test requirements for inbound travellers upon arrival in Hong Kong, as well as the lifting of Vaccine Pass, which had allowed access to specified premises, and other measures.

At present, Cathay Pacific is operating 30 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity in the Indian market with its seven flights from New Delhi, six flights from Mumbai and three flights from Bengaluru. The carrier is expected to operate 75 per cent of its air capacity in the Indian market by the end of this year.

“We don’t see demand softening from the Indian market, hence, air connectivity is important. Indian carriers, Vistara and IndiGo, are expected to soon resume flights to Hong Kong. This will provide a major boost to our growth plans in the Indian market,” said Kumar.

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