The Hong Kong Tourism Board hosted its annual Tourism Update event online last week, which was streamed live. It was also declared during the occasion that the city will be re-positioned at the top of passengers’ thoughts all around the globe when tourism resumes.
Together Towards New Horizons” was the theme of Tourism Update 2022, which brought together 3,200 trade representatives from the travel industry, including travel agencies, attractions, hotels, airlines, retailers, restaurants, and meeting and exhibition organizers from Hong Kong, Mainland China, and international markets. The Hong Kong Tourist Board (HKTB) provided insights into the current tourism trends as well as its work strategy for the future year.
Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTB) Y K Pang spoke on Hong Kong’s return to normalcy in his opening comments.
“The fifth wave of the epidemic is beginning to subside,” he said. It is now possible to host large-scale events and prepare for the return of tourists in Hong Kong, since everyday life and commercial activity have gradually resumed their previous levels.
Throughout the epidemic, Hong Kong’s tourist infrastructure was constantly being built and upgraded. During the summer of this year, the Hong Kong Palace Museum will be officially opened, and the third runway at Hong Kong International Airport is projected to be operational within the following couple of years. Combined with these new infrastructural features and the backing of the Central and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region governments, Hong Kong’s competitive edge has remained strong, and we can look forward with confidence to new frontiers.”
Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, explained how the HKTB would raise the awareness of Hong Kong throughout the world by releasing “Hong Kong Summer Treats” during his presentation of the work plan for the next year. “Arts in Hong Kong” is a campaign that promotes international art and culture events such as Art Basel, which will return in a tangible version as part of the campaign’s launch.
With even greater relaxation of social separation restrictions, the HKTB expects to arrange even more world-class events, such as the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival and the Hong Kong WinterFest, as well as assist with other high-profile events, such as the Hong Kong Sevens.
Cheng said that it was critical to ensure that things were getting better at home before overseas tourists returned to the country.
“I believe that these initiatives will help to create a pleasant atmosphere in Hong Kong and indicate that things are back to normal.” When the timing is perfect, the HKTB will launch a series of promotional campaigns, including the tactical ‘Open House Hong Kong’ campaign, to welcome tourists back to the territory.
The fresh initiatives being undertaken to strengthen Hong Kong’s existing world-class tourist infrastructure were also discussed by representatives from important organizations in the audience.
It is one of Hong Kong’s most significant arts and cultural initiatives, and it is located in West Kowloon. M+, the city’s modern art museum, opened its doors last year, and the Hong Kong Palace Museum will open its doors to the public for the first time this summer. “As a unique cultural hub with unrivalled connectivity in Hong Kong and Asia, WKCD presents the best of eastern and western culture to visitors, ranging from Chinese arts and antiquities to contemporary visual culture, and offers visitors a holistic experience blending arts and culture with retail, dining, and entertainment,” said Betty Fung, chief executive officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Hong Kong International Airport is critical in ensuring that the city’s position as a premier international aviation center continues to be maintained. “In addition to maintaining our aviation hub status, our strategy is to transform Hong Kong International Airport from a city airport into an Airport City, developing ourselves into a destination in and of ourselves for visitors,” said Vivian Cheung, executive director (airport operations) of the Airport Authority Hong Kong.
International tourists will be attracted to the Airport City by its extensive variety of options in shopping, eating, entertainment, and leisure. The conference and exposition facilities will also serve as a commercial platform for the city’s corporate community. Parallel to this, we are working to improve the airport’s sea and land connection with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in order to provide a more seamless travel experience for the 70 million people who live in the area and want to visit the Airport City.
A major development strategy is the merging of culture, sports, and tourism. As Kai Tak Sports Park’s general director (commercial), James Irvine stated that the facility will “add vitality and vibrancy to the city’s dynamic tourism landscape with its world-class sports, leisure, and entertainment experiences.” The facility is one of the most significant sports infrastructures in Hong Kong, according to Irvine. The establishment of a first-of-its-kind attraction in the heart of the city will attract visitors from across the world.