24th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s tourism industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government has launched several initiatives to promote its recovery and development. In response to a question raised in the Legislative Council, the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr. Kevin Yeung, provided updates on these initiatives and future plans.
One of the key initiatives is the “Hello Hong Kong” global promotional campaign, which includes the distribution of free air tickets and “Hong Kong Goodies” visitor consumption vouchers to attract visitors to Hong Kong. The Airport Authority Hong Kong purchased around 500,000 air tickets from three locally-based carriers in 2020 to support the aviation industry, and 200,000 of these tickets are being given away through the “World of Winners” Tickets Giveaway Campaign. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has also distributed visitor consumption vouchers to more than 760,000 visitors through its Discover Hong Kong e-platform.
HKTB has been promoting the tourism appeal of Hong Kong by leveraging its unique features, such as the Victoria Harbour, city life, natural scenery, traditional culture, and food and beverage offerings. The board is targeting high value-added visitors and short-haul markets, such as the Mainland and Southeast Asian markets, in its promotions. HKTB plans to invite over 1,000 travel trade, media, film stars, KOLs, and Hong Kong Super Fans to visit Hong Kong this year to generate positive word-of-mouth and good comments.
HKTB will also organise and support several cultural, sports, and tourism mega events to provide visitors with diverse experiences and attract them to Hong Kong. These events include the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, Harbour Chill Carnival, Hong Kong Cyclothon, Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, Hong Kong WinterFest, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival 2023, Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations, and Hong Kong Chinese New Year Celebrations next year.
Additionally, HKTB will expand its “Hong Kong Neighbourhoods” promotions to attract visitors with authentic local culture. The Pilot Scheme for Characteristic Local Tourism Events will continue to provide funding support for staging events showcasing local characteristics. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department is organising the “Hong Kong Week” in Bangkok, Thailand, from October to November this year, to feature the unique East-meet-West arts and cultural ambience of Hong Kong.
The government has not set targets for the substantive benefits and effects of these activities. However, it aims to attract more than 1.5 million visitors to Hong Kong through the “World of Winners” Tickets Giveaway Campaign and expects the number of visitors to increase within this year, benefiting Hong Kong’s tourism, retail, catering, business, exhibitions, and other sectors.