Chairman's Message

Hong Kong has enjoyed extraordinary growth in tourist arrivals over the past decade. In 2014, the number of visitors continued to rise to a new record high of more than 60 million.

Despite the increase in arrivals compared to 10 years ago, however, growth has begun to slow and we are seeing a softening of both visitor arrivals and the per capita spending of the tourists who come to Hong Kong.

Few destinations have achieved what Hong Kong has achieved in recent years, and no destination is immune to the impact of global economic factors that affect the ebb and flow of visitor arrivals.

Fallow periods and turbulence are inevitable, particularly after a sustained period of robust growth. What defines us is the way we respond to those difficult times and what we do to put ourselves back on a growth trajectory.

There is no question we face many challenges. Weakening currencies, slowdowns in a number of our major markets, and increasingly ferocious regional competition will continue to take their toll on Hong Kong tourism through 2015 and beyond.

But no progress is ever made without struggle. Now, more than ever, we must sell our qualities as a destination to the world. That is why I led a series of road shows around the region in early 2015, receiving strong support from our trade partners in those markets and in Hong Kong.

I am delighted to say that we have the strong support of the government during these testing times and there are already grounds for optimism. The US and a number of other key visitor markets are showing encouraging signs of recovery. Meanwhile, the Mainland’s One Belt, One Road initiative is expected to boost our multi-destination and cruise businesses.

Looking further ahead, major tourism projects including the transformation of Lantau Island and the opening of the West Kowloon Cultural District will add to Hong Kong’s appeal as a destination.

The challenge for us is to aggressively and confidently showcase the features that have made Hong Kong one of the great success stories of world tourism over the past decade, and to write the next chapter of that story.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government, all the sponsors of our work, our trade partners and other parties for their support in the past year.

I look forward to working closely with all of our stakeholders in deploying our energy, our ingenuity and our innovation to take our tourism industry forward and welcome more visitors to this unique and unforgettable city.

Dr Peter Lam
Hong Kong Tourism Board

Executive Director’s Statement

In recent years, the continued impact of economic factors, exchange rates and social issues has imposed constraints on Hong Kong tourism. Along with the challenging environment, our city is vying with other destinations in the region for visitors, many of whom have developed more complex interests and needs as a result of the growing popularity of international travel.

To stay competitive amidst the challenges and cater for the changing needs of travellers, who are increasingly seeking personal, life-enriching experiences, the Hong Kong Tourism Board made a change in its marketing direction in 2014/15, showcasing the experiences Hong Kong has to offer and how visitors can personalise them according to their interests and needs.

Hong Kong is a city rich in experiences, from dining and shopping, which are well-known internationally, to a wide range of activities involving the arts, living culture, nature, sports and leisure. With these as our marketing assets, we show visitors that they can freely mix and match different experiences to create a holiday they can truly call their own.

Underlining the personal element, we launched the “My time for Hong Kong” brand campaign, highlighting the compact size of Hong Kong, which allows visitors with limited time and resources to try a variety of experiences even in a short stay, thus maximising the value of their trip.

With the brand campaign as the backbone of our communication with visitors, we rolled out a number of initiatives to guide them to shape their perfect travel experience in Hong Kong:

  • Inspire and facilitate – With digital marketing and public relations initiatives like the Insider’s Guide and celebrities’ stories in Hong Kong, we inspired visitors with ideas on how to tailor-make their own itineraries, while using the three-in-one My Hong Kong Guide to plan and share their experiences.
  • Collaborate with the trade – Since what Hong Kong has to offer depends heavily on the tourism and related sectors, we encouraged the travel trade to develop new, creative products and itineraries through initiatives like the New Tour Product Development Scheme and the Asia Cruise Fund.
  • Uphold quality service – We assisted and motivated the service sector to enhance their service standard through our dedicated concierge hotline, the Quality Tourism Services Scheme and training, and set a good example with our own visitor services.

At the end of the day – or of a holiday to be more precise – what gives visitors a truly memorable experience is their interaction with the local people. While the HKTB regularly organises “Hong Kong Pals” and “Meet the Pals” programmes to facilitate exchange between visitors and locals, it is members of the greater community that visitors encounter every day who help shape visitors’ experiences and perspectives of our city. Our joint effort is therefore of the utmost importance in strengthening Hong Kong’s hospitable image.

I would like to thank the government, all of our sponsors and partners, and members of the community for their support for our events and promotions in the past year. I look forward to working with the entire community to let more visitors know about the amazing experiences and world-class hospitality offered by Hong Kong, Asia’s world city, a place we proudly call home.

Anthony Lau
Executive Director
Hong Kong Tourism Board