Hong Kong Tourism Board prepares to resume international travel

Published on : Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has announced that it is planning to prepare for the recovery of tourism and the resumption of international travel. The strategic plan outlines the division of an HK$1.138 billion (£127 million) budget for the next financial year, which has been split into two phases. The short-term strategy will focus on encouraging international visitors back to Hong Kong as soon as possible.

HKTB has also decided that it will launch ‘Open House Hong Kong,’ a campaign designed to restore visitor arrivals through tactical offers and exclusive experiences once borders reopen and global travel resumes. In the medium-to-long-term, HKTB is also conducting a holistic review of Hong Kong’s tourism brand and positioning. The tourism board is also likely to launch large-scale promotions through multiple channels including digital platforms in key source markets, as well as media and tour operator co-ops to present Hong Kong’s reinvented tourism image following the resumption of travel.

In addition, HKTB will develop multi-destination partnerships with cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), such as Macao and Guangzhou. These partnerships will enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as the gateway into mainland China and build on the GBA tourism brand. The two phased approach to the plan will complement the ongoing initiatives to support the travel trade, cruise and MICE industries, as well as maintain Hong Kong’s international exposure. With only 202 deaths Hong Kong has been comparatively less affected by COVID-19. However, the travel and tourism industry has been completely shattered and major disruption has been noticed in international travel as China closed borders to guests in early 2020.

Dane Cheng, Executive Director, HKTB said in a statement that despite the start of vaccinations against COVID-19 worldwide, the pandemic situation remains volatile and unpredictable and hence it is unlikely that Hong Kong will see a full resumption of cross-border travel in the next three to six months. However he mentioned that it can be expected to be possible for Hong Kong to welcome tourists from selected markets. He shared that while formulating strategies for 2021/22, two major areas have been under focus.

He mentioned that firstly, a need to offer support to the trade and boost the ambience in Hong Kong has been noticed, while ensuring the city’s continued exposure on the international stage ahead of the resumption of international travel. He added that secondly, authorities are anticipating that competition for tourists will be intense once the pandemic is over, with rival markets going to great lengths to bring visitors back. He concluded that HKTB is therefore setting aside resources for large-scale promotions so that Hong Kong will stand out against competing destinations.

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