Much of Hong Kong’s charm lies in the unique local culture and in the everyday life of the people. To bring visitors closer to the heartbeat of this pulsating city, the HKTB put together an original promotion called “Hong Kong Neighbourhoods”, with a view to expanding visitors’ footprint, inviting them to go beyond the traditional areas to explore the local communities, and extending their stay in Hong Kong.
Launched in April 2017, Old Town Central (OTC) was the first district promoted under “Hong Kong Neighbourhoods”. Five walking routes, highlighting historical architecture and landmarks, arts and culture, dining outlets and lifestyle boutiques, were designed to refresh visitors’ perspective of Central and Sheung Wan. In addition to working with our trade partners to promote the guided tours, we collaborated with local celebrities and long-time expatriates to unveil the district’s genuine charm and hidden gems through public relations campaigns as well as digital and social platforms.
Chinese New Year is a joyous festival in Hong Kong, with the city filled with festivities and celebratory events including the International Chinese New Year Night Parade, flower markets, a spectacular fireworks display, the Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival and many others.
Nine resplendent floats, 56 performing teams and 2,500 performers in constant motion and high spirit ushered in the Year of the Dog with a bang as part of the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, a real moveable feast for the eyes!
Themed “Best Fortune. World Party”, the 23rd edition of the parade staged by the HKTB featured the strongest international performing cast the event had ever seen. Among the world champions and world record holders were: the US’s XPOGO Stunt Team, which had 13 Guinness World Records under its belt; the Czech Republic’s Zee Comedy Magic and Zeejay Juggler, an award winner and world record holder; and Japan’s Unicycle Circus Theatre Witty Look, which had bagged multiple international busking awards, to name just a few.
Over 150,000 spectators crowded the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and major roads in Tsim Sha Tsui to take in the extravaganza, which was watched by many more through live broadcasts on TV channels and news agencies worldwide.
© Art Basel
© Art Central
Prestigious arts events like Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Central and the Hong Kong Arts Festival require little introduction. While supporting the promotion of these events, the HKTB leveraged the promotional window of Hong Kong Arts Month to present lesser-known gems to visitors to enrich their experience and understanding of Hong Kong’s arts scene.
In 2018, we highlighted three art clusters, namely: Fo Tan, where various established and up-and-coming artists alike have set up their studios; South Island Cultural District, a hidden contemporary art scene with spacious galleries tucked away in industrial buildings; and Sham Shui Po, where a series of shutter artworks reflect the everyday life of the community.
On top of promoting 27 events and activities on various platforms, we adopted a proactive approach by hosting tours for the international media and travel trade and introducing guided tours for visitors.
With an action-packed programme from concerts to exhibitions, parties at key attractions and themed tours, and an array of hot deals on shopping, dining and accommodation, summer in Hong Kong is all about “shop, eat and play”.
To help visitors explore the different fun aspects of Hong Kong according to their preferences, we built a dedicated website and published brochures to introduce trendy shops, markets and eateries popular with locals in selected neighbourhoods with unique characteristics, including Old Town Central, Southern District, Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long. With these handy tools, visitors could experience the city’s hidden gems at much greater ease.
A record-breaking 5,000 paddlers representing 162 local and international dragon boat teams took part in the 8th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, organised by the HKTB and the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association.
The number of spectators was also impressive – some 66,000, including more than 14,000 visitors, attended the carnival over the course of three days.
As one of the events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the carnival saw not only the size of its venue increased compared to the previous year, but also the staging of the special HKSAR 20th Anniversary CCB (Asia) Trophy, which was participated in by dragon boat teams from the 18 districts of Hong Kong, and the new “Red Bull Dragon Roar” obstacle race.
In addition to being a sporting event, the carnival featured the San Miguel BeerFest, which offered live entertainment and local delicacies from 14 food trucks.
The inaugural ICBC (Asia) e-Sports & Music Festival Hong Kong took place with over 60,000 participants in three days at the Hong Kong Coliseum, presenting to young visitors from the Mainland and short-haul markets a brand-new entertainment experience.
The festival included the world’s first-ever “Return of the Legends” tournament, in which 20 e-sports veterans with a combined social media following of 23 million fans vied for glory. The three matches of the tournament, which were live-streamed in six languages, were viewed by more than seven million people worldwide.
The festival also featured Hong Kong’s first-ever SMTOWN SPECIAL STAGE in HONG KONG, where some of the most popular K-pop heartthrobs performed their latest hits together with group-crossover performances.
The 2017 Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon showed how the cycling event had evolved in class and stature in merely three years.
For the very first time, a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour Class 1.1 Road Race was held in Hong Kong, attracting about 100 top cyclists from around the world.
The quota of the 50km ride was increased in view of the race’s popularity, with more than 300 local, Mainland and overseas cyclists participating.
In total, the event was joined by close to 5,000 cyclists, both professionals and amateurs, while more than 51,000 roadside spectators were recorded, of whom 30% were visitors.
The 2017 CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival easily became one of the most anticipated culinary events during the year. Within four days’ time, over 141,000 bon vivants made their way to the waterfront stretching from the Central Harbourfront Event Space to Tamar Park, where they were spoilt for choice by 400 wine and food booths.
The event showcased some of the finest gastronomic experiences anywhere in the world: The Master Chef Dinner jointly created by Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs from the US, Singapore and Hong Kong; highly rated wines in the “Robert Parker Wine Advocate Pavilion”; three Michelin-starred delicacies at the “Tap & Go” FeedMe Lane; and a thoughtful selection of wines by masterclass sommelier James Suckling. Other new additions to the event included the Bubbly Gala dedicated to party wines, and the Concept Store, where patrons could buy premium culinary products.
For those who did not have enough at the Wine & Dine Festival, they could continue to indulge themselves in the culinary journey during the Hong Kong Great November Feast, in which they could enjoy a wide array of gourmet food and drinks at the many dinning hotspots and bars with discounted offers in Hong Kong throughout November.
Christmas in Hong Kong is not complete without a massive, glittering Christmas tree in the heart of the city. As the centrepiece of our Hong Kong WinterFest promotion, we set up an 18-metre-tall Christmas tree at Statue Square in Central, and organised activities including photo opportunities with Santa Claus and carols singing to enrich the festivities.
Together with Christmas lights all around town, holiday decorations and events at top attractions and malls, special shopping offers and festive menus, the WinterFest promotion offered visitors a genuine taste of a festive winter season.
© Ming Pao
On the last evening of 2017, over 360,000 people crowded the two sides of Victoria Harbour to watch the CTS Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations 2018 and welcome the year 2018 in unison.
Spanning across a 35% wider fireworks display area than the previous year, the event was more spectacular than ever. It also featured two new elements to intensify spectators’ experience: fireworks by an award-winning European fireworks maker which were scattered upon the harbour like “Magical Stardust”, and “Deco-Sphere”, a tantalising performance by Australian performing arts group “Strange Fruit”.
The show has attracted many local and international media to broadcast it live on TV and social media platforms, drawing millions of viewers from around the world.
The Hong Kong Pulse Light Show continued in 2017 to give visitors another reason and a different perspective to admire the night vista of Hong Kong.
Two editions, linked by one motif – the dragon, were staged to synergise with the Hong Kong Summer Fun and Hong Kong WinterFest campaigns.
While exuberant images were projected onto the walls of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Clock Tower using the 3D projection mapping technology, the summer edition also featured off-screen, interactive elements, including photo-worthy light sculptures and giant floating creatures in the shape of local delicacies such as pineapple buns and dim sum, and a stepping competition called “Wake up the Dragon”.
The summer and winter shows combined attracted more than 730,000 spectators, of whom 41% were visitors.
On 1 December 2017, a new edition of the mega light and sound show – “A Symphony of Lights”– was unveiled to visitors’ delight.
First launched in 2004, the multi-media light show features a variety of lighting effects including searchlights and lasers emitted from a number of buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour.
In the new show that is ongoing, 10 LED screens on various harbourside buildings display images and messages to encourage participation of audience in the show. All-new beam lights are also sent out from the roof of the Central Government Offices and the Revenue Tower, creating a special fan-shaped lighting effect.
Altogether, 40 buildings and tourist attractions on both sides of the harbour are participating in this new light show.
Together with music from the homegrown Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the light musical is a real spectacle that puts Hong Kong’s night views on the world’s stage.
© Jessica Li
The HKTB launched the Great Outdoors Hong Kong campaign again during the hiking season in 2017, highlighting 10 hiking routes and two cycling trails under four different themes.
Catering for the need of free independent travellers, we published a guidebook in both print and e-version in five languages.
Targeting Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where visitors are interested in green tourism, we worked with the travel trade to generate 20 tour packages featuring hiking activities, offering some 5,000 visitors an eye-opening experience of Hong Kong’s natural wonder.
We also worked with KOLs and journalists and conducted extensive social media promotion. Massive publicity was generated as a result.
© Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race
To uphold Hong Kong’s image as an events capital, the HKTB not only organises its own events but also proactively supports other organisations in promoting their events to visitors.
The events we helped to promote last year were diverse in nature, from world-class sporting events like the FIA Formula E Hong Kong ePrix, Hong Kong Golf Open, Hong Kong International Races, Hong Kong Marathon, Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Tennis Open, Masters of Hong Kong and Volvo Ocean Race, to arts events like the Clockenflap Hong Kong’s Music & Arts Festival and Lumieres Hong Kong, and traditional cultural celebrations such as the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, among others.