HONG KONG – Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB)’s new Holiday at Home campaign is based on six themes - skyline, local culture, wellness, nightlife, dining and shopping - with around 120 venues and activities for locals to choose from.
“The HKTB’s strategy to revive Hong Kong tourism begins with revitalising the local market,” said HKTB chairman Dr YK Pang.
“By encouraging local tourism, we hope to rebuild the city’s vibrant atmosphere and give the world a positive impression so that visitors will feel confident about coming to Hong Kong again.”
Two phases will roll out the fun and games, with the first phase launching immediately, the second unveiling a fresh menu of family-friendly options in mid-July to coincide with the government’s Cash Payout Scheme (HK$10,000) and the summer holidays.
One-stop fun platform
First up will be the One-stop Dining, Shopping and Entertainment Offer platform, where locals will be able to find deals from over 110 hotels, over 100 shopping malls, 12 major attractions and various restaurants with discounts and freebies.
These include include Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel and K11 ARTUS, and lesser-known destinations such as Signal Hill Tower, Red Incense Burner Summit and Basalt Island. F&B options include Wing Fat Cha Chaan Teng restaurant by day and entertainment venue by night; and Hong Kong Flavour’s innovative fresh market and dining.
Four credit card networks are getting in on the act, the platform including promotions from Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay and American Express. Lucky draw winners will be able to win weekly prizes organised by American Express.
Hong Kong Foodie is one of the businesses that has joined the campaign, offering small group walking tours to locals and expats, as well as a summer-only beer tour to meet artisans behind local craft beers.
For Silvana Leung, director of operations, the platform, combined with the relaxation of restrictions to allow up to 50 to gather, is a relief.
“Our walking tour capacities range from eight to 12 people, so we are now able to do the full tours if we have full groups joining. We don’t expect 12 at this time, as it is still a very tough time for tourism as most of our customers are not local, but we will do what we can to keep our guides employed.
“We have a promotion on the Holiday at Home platform for Hong Kong residents which we are marketing to locals and expats who aren’t able to go on holiday this summer,” she adds, citing 25% off their Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour and a special price for July and August’s Hong Kong Local Craft Beer Tour.
“Our foodie tours are a good opportunity for families, and especially local Cantonese speaking children, as our tours are run in English, so they are a great way to get them outside, explore their home town and provide something educational for them too.”
Landscape and culture
One of the major attractions included in the campaign is the Ngong Ping 360 cable car; it offers 50% discount for a round-trip cable car ride on weekdays for Hong Kong identity card holders.
“In early March, we anticipated that domestic travel would bounce back first and that people would prefer solo trips and small-scale family outings more sensitive to hygiene standards, social distancing and public health and safety,” said Mr Andy Lau, managing director of Ngong Ping. “We, thus, introduced the “companion cabin” policy for the cable car services, allowing only family and friends within the same group to travel together in the same cabin.”
Sister company, 360 Holidays, also took the chance to launch the 360 Private Lantau Tour in May, which includes Ngong Ping Village, the Big Buddha, Tai O fishing village, hiking and possible sightings of white dolphins, shifting the focus to alfresco experiences in nature. “We forecast that green tourism and private tours would be new trends in Hong Kong tourism,” said Mr Lau.
Hopes for the future
“We are also hoping that the campaign will give the tourism and related trade an opportunity to warm up and prepare for welcoming visitors again later on,” said Dr Pang.
“Once it is possible for visitors from a certain market to travel to Hong Kong, the HKTB will appeal to those visitors by extending to them the travel and local spending information and offers featured in this campaign, together with attractive flight-and-hotel packages.”