Hong Kong anticipates surge in tourism with innovative monthly fireworks and drone shows

Kevin Yeung

3rd March 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Tourism Board projects an optimistic increase in tourist arrivals by 35% to 46 million visitors this year, surpassing previous expectations. Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, shared on a radio broadcast that the travel sector is showing signs of robust recovery. This uptick is attributed to the resumption of aviation services and border operations, with hopes that actual visitor numbers will exceed the forecasts.

The government’s push to invigorate the tourism industry involves a series of new financial budget proposals, including monthly themed fireworks and drone shows designed to coincide with major events. This initiative aims to entice tourists to extend their stay and spend more in the region. However, Yeung clarified that while these spectacles are a key strategy, they are part of a broader plan to diversify tourism activities and bolster promotional efforts. The goal is to attract more overnight visitors, although setting a precise target figure remains challenging.

Retail and dining sectors in Hong Kong, where tourist spending accounts for a quarter of the business, have noticed a trend. While luxury items like jewellery continue to sell well, daily goods are lagging, a likely reflection of changing shopping behaviours among visitors. To address this, the Tourism Board is gearing up to launch a courtesy campaign to promote the city’s traditional hospitality and enhance the overall visitor experience.

Despite the earlier reopening of other global destinations, Hong Kong’s tourism industry has only recovered to about 70-80% of its pre-pandemic levels. This is thought to be due to altered travel habits and higher ticket costs compared to before the pandemic. The number of visitors from mainland China and Southeast Asia has rebounded strongly and remains a focus, but efforts are also underway to tap into the Middle Eastern market. Although promotional activities are planned for the European and American markets, there is a recognition of ongoing uncertainties in these regions.