The HKTB places special emphasis on facilitating funding, engagement and mutual support for all our travel trade partners to help them reach their full potential in their fields of expertise, which in turn benefits the whole industry.
The challenges in 2015 prompted the Government to allocate additional resources for the HKTB to set up the MFTA. The scheme subsidised 50% of the marketing and promotional costs of each approved proposal to encourage local attractions to develop distinctive tourism initiatives to draw more high-spending overnight visitors to Hong Kong. It also doubled as a great incentive for attractions to build new partnerships among themselves.
We believe enjoying Hong Kong first-hand is important for nurturing overseas partners who can promote the city with passion, so we organised four rounds of family-oriented familiarisation trips during the summer months for representative agents from nine markets to experience Hong Kong first-hand with their family members. In October, 70 key travel trade partners from such markets as Japan, Singapore and Thailand took part in a four-day Wine & Dine Festival mega familiarisation trip to experience the city’s diverse offerings for themselves.
The year-round trade networking events we organised, including Contract Hong Kong and travel missions to selected markets, benefited our local partners and overseas buyers from at least eight countries – the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand – with deeper knowledge about Hong Kong as a travel destination and useful business connections. By taking part in the 2015 International Travel Expo (ITE), we were able to reach nearly 90,000 visitors from the trade and the public with some of the most exclusive offers and special packages.
One of the best ways to boost Hong Kong’s tourism appeal is to keep offering new experiences and attractive itineraries. Thanks to the New Tour Product Development Scheme (NTPDS), a number of our local travel trade partners were able to perk up their product variety by creating tours that offer a unique experience for visitors to the city. Non-funded applicants were encouraged to use our “Explore Hong Kong Tours” platform as a marketing and promotional channel for their new products.
To stimulate retail spending by both locals and tourists, we keenly supported the city-wide “Happy@hongkong Super JETSO” campaign, organised by the Quality Tourism Services Association (QTSA). The five-week shopping and dining promotion featured attractive offers from about 16,500 retailers and restaurants across the city. Consumers could easily identify the participating merchants by the eye-catching decal on their shop front, and an upbeat television commercial starring veteran pop group Grasshopper was produced to spread the news.