The HKTB is a subvented organisation responsible for marketing and promoting
Hong Kong internationally as a destination for leisure and business travel.
With a board of 20 non-executive members drawn from the local community,
and representing all major sectors of the tourism and related trades,
it operates through a Head Office in Hong Kong, 13 world-wide offices
and seven representative offices.
Through its various marketing activities, the HKTB
strives to reinforce Hong Kong's standing as a world-class city and the
most preferred tourism destination in Asia. It aims not only to increase
the number of visitors to Hong Kong, but also to enhance their experience
and satisfaction when they arrive and during their stay.
The HKTB undertakes extensive market research and monitoring to assess
industry trends, perceptions of Hong Kong in the overseas markets and
feedback from departing visitors. The board shares this data with the
Government and its tourism industry partners to enable visitor facilities,
products and services to be planned most effectively and the industry
to capitalise on new business opportunities.
A wide range of marketing strategies is employed to
target different market segments world-wide. In 2003, the HKTB hosted
1 350 international media visitors and over 2 000
travel trade representatives on familiarisation trips.
Major travel agents and wholesalers are kept informed
of the latest tourism information and given assistance to develop attractive
travel packages. To add value to travel itineraries and provide new experiences
for visitors, 16 new local tour products were introduced or repackaged
during the year, with a number of them targeted at individual travellers
from the Mainland or elsewhere. The HKTB also works with other tourism
offices in the Mainland and around Asia to promote visits to Hong Kong
as part of multi-destination itineraries.
In 2003, the HKTB helped over 1.1 million visitors, either directly through
its Visitor Information and Services Centres or by responding to enquiries
received by mail, over the Internet, through its Visitor Hotline or at
information counters set up at major international conventions and exhibitions.
About 11.6 million pieces of HKTB literature were distributed during the
year by the board and its partner organisations.
consumer website now receives over seven million page views a month. The
HKTB also maintains a specialised website, PartnerNet, to provide
information to the local and international travel trade.
To cater for the growth in Mainland visitor arrivals,
a new Visitor Information and Services Centre was opened at the Lo Wu
boundary crossing in October. This supplements the existing HKTB information
centres in Central on Hong Kong Island, at Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon and
at Hong Kong International Airport. Self-service information racks are
also provided at some 150 other entry points, hotels, shopping centres
and tourist attractions.
Following the SARS outbreak, the HKTB launched a major Global Tourism
Revival Campaign in late June, under the aegis of the Government's
Economic Relaunch Campaign.
The campaign adopted a two-stage approach. The
first phase was designed to attract visitors back to Hong Kong through
generous travel offers and special welcome privileges, to help local
businesses achieve a swift recovery. The second phase focused on
sustaining long-term growth and reinforcing Hong Kong's destination
image through a series of spectacular mega events and a new global
Phase 1 took the form of a two-month promotion from
mid-July to mid-September, entitled Hong Kong Welcomes You!
With extensive support from the airline and hotel industries, the
HKTB and its travel trade partners were able to launch a wide range
of consumer promotions world-wide, and brought over 580 media and
1 930 trade representatives to Hong Kong on Seeing
is Believing familiarisation visits. At the same time, some
1 360 local travel trade members joined overseas market
visits and roadshows organised by the HKTB. The highlight of the
Hong Kong Welcomes You! promotion was a special 'Welcome
Day' on August 17 with more than 3 500 VIP guests coming
from around the world to attend a series of events, including the
launch of the Strato-Fantasia multimedia show on the Wan
Chai waterfront. These activities generated positive international
Phase 2 began in mid-September with the launch
of a new global advertising campaign on the theme Hong Kong —
Live it, Love it! The campaign is designed to broaden and revitalise
Hong Kong's image by showing the depth and diversity of attractions
that the city offers beyond its reputation for shopping and dining.
The campaign was rolled out across 16 key markets world-wide, spearheaded
by a television commercial featuring international film star Jackie
Chan, Hong Kong's official Tourism Ambassador. The HKTB also staged
a series of themed mega events, including the Mid-Autumn Lantern
Celebration, the Hong Kong International Musical Fireworks
Competition and the Hong Kong WinterFest during the second
half of 2003.
A number of special initiatives were taken in
response to the launching by the Mainland authorities of the Individual
Visit Scheme for visitors from designated Mainland cities. These
included briefings for the travel trade in these cities and joint
promotions with travel agents and local media. The HKTB also encouraged
local tour operators to develop new itineraries targeted at individual
travellers. It also stepped up its 'Meet and Greet' services and
distribution of visitor information at border points.
To attract leading international events, the HKTB continues to
provide comprehensive support services to organisations planning
to stage major events in the city.
Although a number of conventions and exhibitions
in the second quarter of 2003 were postponed due to the SARS outbreak,
many were simply rescheduled to later in 2003 or 2004. So far, more
than 120 international conferences and exhibitions have been scheduled
between 2004 and 2010.
Hong Kong is an ideal meeting point for companies
wishing to do international business with companies from the Mainland.
Continued growth is anticipated in this high-yield sector with China's
accession to the World Trade Organisation and Hong Kong's trading
advantages under the Mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership
Arrangement. The opening of the new AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition centre
at the airport in 2006 will strengthen Hong Kong's attractiveness
to host major events.
Hong Kong is becoming an increasingly popular centre for cruise
travel. Several cruise liners are home based and provide the opportunity
for the HKTB and its trade partners to market Hong Kong as a fly-cruise
centre, while many international cruise liners make annual stopovers
in Hong Kong.
Following the recommendations of a cruise marketing
study conducted in 2002, a joint public and private sector Cruise Forum
was convened to share market intelligence, expand cooperation between
the various parties and promote Hong Kong as a cruise destination. In
early 2003, Hong Kong hosted a visit by 27 leading international cruise
executives to view the city's cruise facilities, discuss cooperation with
local partners and meet government officials.