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During a web conference hosted by Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) that focused on the latest updates on tourism development and introduced the HKTB’s strategic framework of recovery plan, HKTB chairman Dr. YK Pang said that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to Hong Kong tourism and put global tourism to a halt.

He continued, “The tourism landscape will be reshaped. In the post-pandemic world, we will see a shift in preference and behavior among travelers—the public health conditions of destinations, and the hygiene standards of transportations, hotels and other tourism facilities will become a top priority; people will prefer short-haul breaks and shorter itineraries; wellness-themed trips will become a new trend. It is in fact an ideal time for us to review and rethink Hong Kong’s position in the global tourism market and elevate service standard. Together with the travel trade, the HKTB is going to map out the long-term development strategy for our tourism industry.”

Representatives from HKTB’s worldwide offices participated in the meeting to provide insights into the latest developments in various market regions. Regarding the mainland market, HKTB believes that consumers will become more price-conscious and pursue value-for-money holidays, given the outbreak’s impact on the economy; and after prolonged confinement, visitors will also place greater emphasis on health and nature.

“When choosing destinations for future trips, they will favor those that pose low risks to health.”

When it comes to Hong Kong’s short-haul and new markets, representatives noted that “domestic travel will be the major preference shortly after the pandemic, and outbound travel will resume soon after. Regional competition will be fiercer than ever, as the tourism authorities and travel trade of various destinations are gearing up for intensive promotions to vie for visitors.”

Regarding long-haul markets, the belief is that “A longer time is expected for these markets to recover and outbound travel may resume in the last quarter of this year at the earliest.” Additionally, HKTB representatives pointed to consumer sentiment being comparatively more positive in Canada, France and Germany, so “outbound travel is expected to recover at a faster rate in these markets.”

“Outbound travel may resume in the last quarter of this year at the earliest.”

HKTB executive director Dane Cheng explained that the HKTB has devised a three-phase plan to reinvigorate Hong Kong tourism (the exact timeline will depend on the development of the pandemic): 

Phase 1 (Now) – Resilience

  • The HKTB is preparing a recovery plan for HongKong tourism.

Phase 2 – Recovery

  • When the pandemic shows signs of abating, the HKTB will first focus on local market to promote positive ambiance in HongKong by encouraging locals to rediscover different neighborhoods and community cultures in order to send a positive message to visitors and restore their confidence in the city. Meanwhile, the HKTB will launch tactical promotions with the trade in selected markets based on the developments of individual markets to stimulate people’s interest to visit Hong Kong.

Stage 3 – Relaunch

  • Mega events and a new tourism brand campaign will be launched to rebuild HongKong’s tourism image.

For more on what the future of travel will look like, visit #AmazingDaysAhead.