6th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong government has outlined strategies to boost tourism in response to a legislative question on new attractions and events aimed at reviving the sector after COVID-19.
In a written reply to lawmaker Hon Benson Luk, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Mr Kevin Yeung highlighted ongoing and upcoming initiatives across marketing, facilities, events and travel trade engagement.
With travel restrictions lifted in February, Mr Yeung noted tourism has been steadily recovering and faces similar challenges as other regions. This includes global economic conditions, regional competition, changing visitor patterns and air capacity limits.
Amid these headwinds, a “Hello Hong Kong” campaign was launched communicating the city’s diverse appeal and enticing travellers to experience it first-hand. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has also distributed two million HK$100 visitor consumption vouchers to welcome tourists.
For 2023, the HKTB will focus on drawing visitors through mega events, leveraging Chinese and Western festivals to cement Hong Kong’s position as the Events Capital of Asia. Development as a regional tourism hub will continue by connecting Mainland travellers to the world via Hong Kong’s role as a “super-connector”.
Special tourism products and experiences tailored to key markets and segments will attract different source markets. High value-added visitors and cruise tourism will be targeted to uphold the city’s stature as Asia’s cruise hub.
The government and travel trade are enriching tourism resources including recent projects incorporating art, heritage, creative and green elements. A Characteristic Local Tourism Incentive Scheme will encourage development of thematic tours when launched in Q1 2024.
A plan to rejuvenate the nightly Symphony of Lights show will be devised next year to refresh a visitor’s favourite. Cultural and eco-tourism will be promoted in Sha Tau Kok, including potential for a cross-border tourism zone with neighbouring Shenzhen.
Major facilities in the pipeline include the 2024 Kai Tak Sports Park, the East Kowloon Cultural Centre opening from 2024 and the 2028 Heritage Conservation and Resource Centre. Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland are also adding new attractions.
To attract events, Hong Kong will host the inaugural Performing Arts Expo spanning five days in October 2024, gathering 800-1,000 overseas and 500 local artists. A Chinese Culture Festival and World Cultures Festival are slated as regular events from 2024.
The recent Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund has thus far supported six happenings including Art Basel Hong Kong 2023, with four more approved events upcoming.
Thirteen major international sports tournaments have been awarded “M Mark” status for 2022-2023, including several first-time Hong Kong hosts. More new sports events will be supported going forward. For MICE tourism, over 430 international events were secured in 2022 covering 300,000 visitors. These include high-profile business conferences and 42 large exhibitions like September’s Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong. More global cultural, arts and sports events and MICE activities will be attracted via government resources and support measures.