Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) welcomed over 100 media members, travel agents, corporate partners and cultural leaders to a reception in Vancouver to celebrate the Year of the Dog, and to provide an economic and tourism update.
Florence Tsang of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) shared a Hong Kong business overview, with 3.8 per cent economic growth in 2017 and the same projected growth for 2018. New developments launching this year include the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge, which together will link nine cities with population of 66 million, enabling additional business opportunities in Hong Kong.
In Canada, HKETO works in conjunction with HKTB to promote Hong Kong’s interests. "Hong Kong and Canada share very close ties, Tsang reported. “Hong Kong is Canada’s eighth largest export market, with two billion dollars in export of beef, fish and seafood. Our human ties are strong too, with Canadians being the largest foreign community in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong airlines strengthen travel between Canada and Hong Kong, and we enjoy mutual cultural exchanges through films, performing and visual arts.”
Michael Lim of HKTB also shared positive tourism statistics with the audience. “In 2017, Hong Kong welcomed over 58 million visitors, and 370,000 of them were Canadians.” Lim attributed the strong numbers to five experiences that appeal to the Canadian market. “Hong Kong offers local culture, dining, attractions, Chinese festivals, and the great outdoors. It is a cultural playground with something for new and repeat visitors to Hong Kong.”
Additional interesting Hong Kong figures include:
• 273 hotels with 78,000 rooms, with an additional 30 hotels and 6,000 rooms by the end of 2018.
• 14,000 restaurants from local street food to three-starred Michelin restaurants.
• 70 percent of green space is within one hour’s reach from Hong Kong.
• 90 percent of Canadian travellers add China, Thailand, Taiwan or Vietnam as a side trip when visiting Hong Kong.
Hong Kong continues to be a year round destination, with festivals and events that span the arts, sports, music, wine, culinary, shopping, as well as traditional celebrations during Chinese New Year, dragon boat and harvest moon festivals and winterfest.
Travellers to Hong Kong can visit www.discoverhongkong.com to plan their travel itinerary, and download My Hong Kong Guide app to create a personalized travel guide and to access e-coupons for accommodations, dining and shopping.
Agents can visit Partnernet.hktb.com for HKTB updates, tour planning ideas, photo library, and access the Hong Kong Specialist training program.