2016/01/14

HK to highlight its diversified feature to boost tourism

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Wednesday that the government will move Hong Kong's tourism industry up the value chain by highlighting the unique and diversified experiences Hong Kong offers and showcasing its gourmet culture.

Delivering his annual policy address at the Legislative Council, Leung said the government will also promote cultural and creative tourism, organize mega events, and draw more conventions and exhibitions to Hong Kong to boost tourism, a major industry in the special administrative region, accounting for 5 percent of GDP in 2013 and provided nearly 270,000 jobs.

However, the chief executive said, Hong Kong should not merely focus on the growth in tourist numbers. "We should pursue a balanced, healthy and long-term development of the tourism industry, and move towards diversified and high value-added services. While promoting tourism, the receiving capacity of various districts should also be considered."

Last year, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) was asked to step up its overseas publicity efforts, especially in Southeast Asia, Leung said, to this end, 80 million HK dollars (about 10.32 million U.S. dollars) was allocated to the HKTB. A matching fund of 10 million HK dollars has also been set up to support the overseas promotion efforts of Hong Kong's tourist attractions, he added.

These measures have begun to deliver results and the overall number of tourists is largely stable, with the total visitor arrivals in 2015 falling slightly by 2.5 percent over 2014. Leung noted that while there was a drop in inbound visitors from the Chinese mainland, visitors from other places, including Southeast Asia and long-haul destinations, showed signs of a pick-up with a year-on-year increase of about 5 percent in the fourth quarter last year.

In addition to taking forward planning studies on the Tourism Node at Kai Tak and Lantau, the government is discussing the further development of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, including the Phase 2 expansion.

As for transportation services and logistics industry, Leung said to further strengthen Hong Kong's edge as a major regional aviation hub, the Hong Kong Airport Authority will establish a civil aviation academy to nurture local and regional aviation management talent. The government is formulating measures to develop Hong Kong into a center for aerospace financing.

A high-level advisory committee has been formed under the Transport and Housing Bureau to help monitor the implementation of the three-runway system project at the Hong Kong International Airport by the Airport Authority, he added.