The Year of the Dog will be a lucky one for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, including the launch of a new Canadian marketing campaign and a multi-destination agreement with Vietnam.
The HKTB was joined by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office for its annual Lunar New Year celebrations last night (Feb. 22), held this year at Luckee by Susur Lee in downtown Toronto. The event included an appearance by the celebrity chef, who prepared a dish with a little help from the HKTB’s Canadian Director Michael Lim and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Director Kathy Chan. Guests also got the chance to take in a selection of works from a new photo exhibition titled Take Your Seat, Hong Kong, showcasing the many sides of the destination from cityscapes to the surrounding natural areas.
New developments in the destination include more than 30 hotel openings over the last year, bringing hundreds of new rooms to Hong Kong’s hotel inventory, along with the pending realization of a pair of major, multi-year infrastructure projects connecting Hong Kong and mainland China. These include the ongoing extension of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link, expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2018; and the upcoming opening of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, which is expected to open in July.
Chef Susur Lee (centre) gets some help preparing a Lunar New Year dish from the HKTB’s Canadian Director Michael Lim and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Director Kathy Chan
Continuing its campaign of promoting various neighbourhoods within the destination, the HKTB is launching a series of walking tours in Sham Shui Po, following the success of tours in Old Town Central. The Sham Shui Po tours will launch in late March, showcasing the district’s multiple historic sites, architecture, religious buildings, local restaurants and shopping.
With Canadian arrivals up 0.3 per cent in 2017 (for a total of 370,335, out of 58,472,157 international arrivals), Lim told PAX that the year ahead will see a number of developments in the Canadian market. To take advantage of increased airlift from Canada to Hong Kong (currently an average of 14 direct daily flights), a new marketing campaign has launched designed to entice more Canadians with a visit to Hong Kong by promoting five key tourism draws, specifically Local Culture, Dining, Attractions, Chinese Festivals and the Great Outdoors.
“We’re going to showcase various authentic Hong Kong experiences,” Lim said of the campaign, “and what we’ve done for Canada is we’ve picked the five we feel appeal most to this market.”
Lim told PAX that in 2018, the HKTB is adding Vietnam as its latest multi-destination marketing partner, which will see the two tourism boards partner with airlines and tour operators to craft itineraries pairing both destinations. Vietnam is Hong Kong’s fourth partner in this strategy, which also includes China, Thailand and Taiwan.
“We’re continuing our successful multi-destination marketing strategy because 90 per cent of Canadian arrivals to Hong Kong go beyond,” Lim said. “Depending on a travel agent’s client, they can match Hong Kong with that client’s desired experience and keep them in Asia.”