James Tien, chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, says he envisages great opportunities arising from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Speaking at the Retail Management Association Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong, Tien said the HKTB has already drawn up strategies to leverage the Games for promoting Hong Kong.
"Tourists nowadays rarely settle for a single destination holiday. Surveys by the HKTB show that almost two-thirds of long-haul visitors to Hong Kong last year went on to visit Mainland China," he remarked. "Our short-term objective is to ensure that a good proportion of those who travel to Beijing for the Olympics also visit Hong Kong, while in the longer term, we aim to turn Hong Kong into a must-visit stop for all tour itineraries to China."
The HKTB has adopted the Olympics Games as the theme for its major marketing promotions next year. Riding on the popularity of China as a travel destination, the HKTB will work with travel trade to tailor combo-itineraries that include Beijing and Hong Kong pre- and post-Olympics, while in the long run, offer itineraries that bundle up Hong Kong and other Mainland cities.
With Hong Kong being the host city for the Equestrian Events, the HKTB will launch a series of promotions targeting countries with a strong tradition of equestrianism, such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and France, to enhance Hong Kong's exposure on the international arena. Efforts will be spent on developing equestrian-themed packages with travel trade to draw enthusiasts from around the world. The HKTB will also join forces with all relevant industries to boost the Olympic ambience in Hong Kong during the Games.
"In the world of multi-destination tourism, competition for visitors will be fierce," Mr Tien added. "Regionally, neighbouring destinations, such as South Korea, Singapore and Bangkok, are actively rolling out promotional activities to compete as Olympic stop-offs.
"The HKTB will seek to work closely with the travel trade and all other relevant sectors in the months ahead to build an enduring Olympic legacy, to ensure that Hong Kong 'strikes gold' in the promotion of 2008 Olympics," Tien concluded.