Hong Kong’s updated attractions a big plus for cruise development

Tourism stakeholders speaking at Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific 2023 say Hong Kong’s continued investments in events and activities for tourists are helping to position the destination in a positive light among cruise travellers.

Felix Chan, general manager, business development, Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), said Hong Kong’s ramp up of its event calendar is helping to “maintain our competitiveness”.

From left: moderator Dickson Chin, HKTB’s Felix Chan, WKCDA’s Christine Chow, HKDL’s Anita Lai, and Ocean Park’s Johnny So

“For instance, the four-day Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival on Thursday at Central HarbourFront is set to feature more than 300 exhibitors (food and wine) from around the world. Moreover, we are working closely with travel trade partners on (developing) green tours and authentic neighbourhood (Old Central Town/Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong) experiences,” Chan said.

As one of the largest cultural projects in the world, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) is constantly diversifying its offerings to attract travellers arriving on cruise ships. WKCDA’s general manager of marketing and customer experience, Christine Chow, believes that cruise travellers prefer heading to a one-stop destination.

She said: “Our harbour-side location is made up of different cultural and performing centres, with museums like M+ and Palace Museum, open-air art park, retail facilities, as well as more than 30 restaurants and food trucks, all under one roof. There is also a line-up of international exhibitions, like the astounding new archaeological discoveries from China’s Sanxingdui, currently (on display) at Palace Museum. Additionally, we envisage to offer various themes of products, (such as) nature tours since our cultural cluster is home to more than 100 kinds of trees and more.”

The Southern Landing Facility is set to open in 2025 in the West Kowloon Cultural District, which will elevate accessibility, allowing water taxi services.

WKCDA has already secured an eventful March/April 2024 line-up, which will include the International Cultural Summit in March 2024, an Art Basel event, and Rugby Sevens.

Theme parks in Hong Kong are also investing in new draws. Ocean Park has crafted new programmes, like hiking along the Cable Car Rescue Trail, the ecological Island South Discovery Tour, a night tour on stargazing to learn about light pollution, and well-being activities like yoga.

Over at Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL), Sleeping Beauty Castle has been transformed while night-time fireworks and soon-to-launch World of Frozen await. Its vice president, communications and public affairs, Anita Lai, shared: “There is a big push on culture and we have been working with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for an orchestral performance at the castle stage. Recently (we had a) crossover with Hong Kong Ballet.”

Lai believes that collaboration with different stakeholders will lead to creative ideas “that will bring excitement and surprises to attract visitors back”.

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