Hong Kong is looking to step up efforts to promote local tourism, industry insiders say, with plans to offer rewards such as free tours and stays to more than 20,000 eligible residents.
The push is part of a HK $ 20 million campaign that coincides with the relaxation of the city’s social distancing rules.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board confirmed it was preparing a new list of promotions on Tuesday as the number of new Covid-19 cases in the city fell to single digits for a second day in a row, sources claiming a ban on local tours were likely to be lifted in the near future.
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The board said the new round of offers would be similar to those unveiled last year but had to be halted as the city tightened restrictions amid a fourth wave of infections that get worse.
“In addition to the tours, the board of directors plans to include the hotel sector in the new cycle, which will follow the model of the first cycle of activities to encourage local spending and generate a chain of consumption,” said the director. executive Dane Cheng Ting-yat. said, without specifying a date or details.
Sources, however, said the program was to include hotel stays among its offerings for the first time. For example, Hong Kong people who spent a certain amount on shopping could benefit from a free local tour or hotel stay, they said.
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The global travel industry has stalled, and local businesses that rely on tourism have been hit particularly hard by the drying up of foreign visitors to the city. Hong Kong recorded just 4,370 arrivals in January, a drop of 99.9% year-on-year, according to preliminary data from the council.
Tourism industry lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said that as part of the second round of its “Free Tour” program, the board will allow 20,000 residents to enjoy free local sightseeing trips, along with services. provided by 100 travel agencies.