The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) organised a web conference on Friday, 24 April, to provide the latest updates on the city’s tourism development and introduce their recovery plan’s strategic framework. 

HKTB Chairman Dr. YK Pang said that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to Hong Kong tourism and put global tourism to a halt. He continued: “The tourism landscape will be reshaped. In the post-pandemic world, we will see a shift in preference and behaviour among travellers – the public health conditions of destinations, and the hygiene standards of transportations, hotels, and other tourism facilities will become a top priority; people will prefer short-haul breaks and shorter itineraries; wellness-themed trips will become a new trend. It is, in fact, an ideal time for us to review and rethink of Hong Kong’s position in the global tourism market and elevate service standard. Together with the travel trade, the HKTB is going to map out the long-term development strategy for our tourism industry.”

The said web conference was attended by close to 1,500 representatives from travel agencies, attractions, hotels, airlines, the retail and dining industries, as well as Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE), and cruise sectors. Representatives from the HKTB’s worldwide offices also participated in the meeting to provide insights into the latest developments in various market regions, including Southeast Asia.

For short-haul and new markets, it was discussed that domestic travel will be the major preference shortly after the pandemic, and outbound travel will resume soon after. Regional competition will be fiercer than ever, as the tourism authorities and travel trade of various destinations are gearing up for intensive promotions to vie for visitors.  

Mr. Raymond Chan, HKTB Regional Director, Southeast Asia emphasized on the potential of the Muslim travel market for Hong Kong. Furthermore, he shared how HKTB has been stepping up its efforts to grow the Muslim travel segment as part of the recovery plan in Southeast Asia. He mentioned that the tourism board will also be working closely with Hong Kong partners to develop and provide more Muslim-friendly services to welcome its Muslim visitors. 

The HKTB has announced as well that it will be allocating HK$400 million to support promotions by the trade. HKTB Executive Director Dane Cheng explained that the tourism board has devised a three-phase plan to reinvigorate Hong Kong tourism. The exact timeline will depend on the development of the pandemic. 

  • Phase 1 (Now) – Resilience
    • The HKTB is preparing a recovery plan for Hong Kong tourism.
  • Phase 2 – Recovery
    • When the pandemic shows signs of abating, the HKTB will first focus on local market to promote positive ambiance in Hong Kong by encouraging locals to rediscover different neighborhoods and community cultures in order to send a positive message to visitors and restore their confidence in the city. Meanwhile, the HKTB will launch tactical promotions with the trade in selected markets based on the developments of individual markets to stimulate people’s interest to visit Hong Kong.
  • Stage 3 – Relaunch
    • Mega events and a new tourism brand campaign will be launched to rebuild Hong Kong’s tourism image.

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