With so many Canadians passing through Hong Kong en route to other Asian destinations, the region is continuing to develop new tourism draws while partnering with its neighbours to create combined itineraries.
It was Hong Kong’s pairing with Vietnam that Goway showcased recently at a dinner event in Toronto, exploring the charms of both destinations through a selection of itineraries pairing the two.
Diane Molzan, Goway’s general manager for Asia product, said that the itineraries – which feature several nights in both destinations – were designed to raise awareness of Vietnam as a travel destination via Hong Kong’s high profile amongst Canadians, while simultaneously elevating Hong Kong as more than just a quick stopover point; according to Yuen Kan Wong, marketing manager for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, 90 per cent of Canadians travelling to Hong Kong are transiting on to other Asian countries, missing out on a unique destination in its own right.
“We’re showcasing the fact that Hong Kong is the perfect gateway destination to anywhere in Asia,” Molzan told PAX. “We’ve paired it with Vietnam because people are just discovering it. There’s a lot of destinations in Asia which can’t be reached directly from North America, so you’ve got to stop somewhere – and Hong Kong is the perfect place for that.”
To that end, travellers booking a Goway itinerary with three or more nights in Hong Kong will receive admission to a number of attractions, including the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Ocean Park and a DukLing cruise in the harbour.
On the horizon
According to Wong, Hong Kong is turning the 2020 spotlight onto a number of travel themes and draws, particularly arts and culture as the region prepares to mark the Year of Art and Design.
Wong said that West Kowloon is undergoing development to become a new cultural district for Hong Kong, with the recent opening of a new opera house and future plans to establish outdoor art on its grounds. Similarly, Old Town Central is being positioned as a destination for street art, Wong said.
Arts and culture, along with the region’s many opportunities for outdoor activities (Wong explained that 70 per cent of Hong Kong is greenspace), are also main themes in a series of tours created by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to offer visitors local experiences.
Hong Kong has also become even more accessible with a number of infrastructure projects, Wong explained, including the recently-opened Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, spanning 53 kilometres over the waters of the Pearl River Delta; and the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link, connecting West Kowloon to Guangzhou in 47 minutes.
There’s also more than 20 hotel openings on the schedule for 2020, Wong said, bringing the number of hotel rooms to 82,000 in a destination where the occupancy rate sits at around 90 per cent.
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