News: Hong Kong takes first tentative steps toward reopening tourism sector

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has begun gradually resuming promotions in local and source markets as it seeks to revive the sector through a combination of short- and long-term strategies. 

The body said the decision follows recent positive progress in the discussions between the local government and other destinations on forming travel bubbles.

Locally, the tourist board is restarting promotions with a “Holiday at Home” campaign, designed to create positive atmosphere in Hong Kong and encourage consumption. 

Hong Kong Tourism Board chairman, YK Pang, said: “The HKTB is working diligently on the ‘Open House Hong Kong’ platform.

“It is anticipated that the mainland, in particular the Greater Bay Area, and some short haul markets will be open for travel relatively soon and the HKTB is planning promotions and tactical offers targeting these markets, which will be launched immediately once cross-boundary travel resumes.

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“In the meantime, we will continue to maintain Hong Kong’s presence in source markets through a variety of promotions and mega events.”

He added: “Looking ahead, Covid-19 has transformed the global tourism landscape, resulting in a new normal for the industry.

“The HKTB will take the opportunity to review Hong Kong’s tourism positioning and will continue to seek to attract high-yield visitors.

“Recently, seven major MICE events were confirmed, boosting confidence in Hong Kong’s ability to draw high-yield MICE visitors in future.” 

While the global pandemic remains volatile, the seven major international MICE events include first-time events for Hong Kong and the Greater China region, and the largest MICE event of its kind in Asia. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium, the Asia Sports Technology Conference, the Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation, and the China Millions Forum Elite Annual Meeting will be held in Hong Kong for the first time. 

Two other MICE events, rescheduled because of the pandemic, will be staged in Hong Kong following lobbying by the HKTB.

Between them, the seven MICE events are expected to attract a total of around 20,000 participants.

The HKTB announced that provisional visitor arrivals in August were about 4,450, amounting to a year-on-year decrease of 99.9 per cent.

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