Easy as one two three? Hong Kong’s three-step tourism recovery plan

By Liz Hands | May 4, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted travel and tourism across the entire planet. But, there’s no doubt some countries are harder hit than others and some parts of the world will see a faster economic recovery than others.

In Hong Kong, tourism leaders are already looking to the future to put together a long-term plan for tourism industry recovery.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has announced a three-pronged strategy designed to rejuvenate the territory’s tourism industry, with the board having set aside US$51 million to support recovery efforts post Covid-19. The move follows an earlier fall in tourism numbers as a result of the Hong Kong protests.

Step one in the new strategy is the resilience phase when the details of the recovery plan will be discussed and set out, while step two will concentrate on recovery with a focus on the promotion of domestic tourism. Hong Kong residents will be encouraged to play their part by embarking on domestic travel in a bid to show the outside world that it is possible to travel in the city once more.

In the final phrase, Hong Kong will be relaunched to the world with large-scale events and a new branding campaign designed to attract visitors from other parts of the world.

HKTB chairman Pang Yiu-kai said now was the perfect time for Hong Kong, which has a reputation as a shopper’s paradise, to review the city’s position on the world tourism stage, adding that traveller behaviour would change in the coming months as a result of Covid-19.

He predicted that travellers will place greater emphasis on airline and hotel hygiene standards, while people are more likely to go on shorter trips than pre-pandemic holidays, as well as searching for destinations offering wellness-themed itineraries.

However, what is clear is that when travel is finally possible, Hong Kong will be facing stiff competition from its Asian neighbours, who will all be launching branding drives of their own to attract tourists back to their attractions when it is safe to do so.

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