The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB)
has officially launched the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) version of its Leisure Guide for Business Travellers.
The launch of this new electronic guide falls under the promotional strategies of the “2006 Discover Hong Kong Year” campaign, which targets key segments, including
high-yield business travellers. By providing these travellers with instant access to information about Hong Kong, the PDA leisure guide will help them explore the
new facets of the city, and encourage them to extend their stay and spending by taking part in more leisure activities.
HKTB Executive Director Clara Chong said that the PDA leisure guide was designed and tailor-made for business travellers. “As the first efficient and hi-tech information
tool introduced under the 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year, this PDA leisure guide is intended to help business travellers discover the new image of Hong Kong
and its diverse travel experience,” she said. “It is also believed to be the first PDA guide that offers so many comprehensive and user-friendly functions and is free to download.”
“Targeting the practical needs of business visitors, we have adopted a simple, convenient and interactive model to deliver the most up-to-date, useful and diverse travel
information. Through interactive functions, we guide visitors to different attractions and locations, so that they can make the best use of their leisure time to enjoy
all the shopping, dining and sightseeing fun of Hong Kong. We hope that once they’ve experienced the city’s multi-dimensional attractions, they will be encouraged to extend
their stay and spending.”
Ms Chong added that Hong Kong attracted 3.41 million business travellers in 2004, about a quarter of the total overnight visitor arrivals. They generated $18.6 billion of
tourism spending – substantial tourism receipts that made them a particularly high-yield segment. “The content and functions of the PDA leisure guide are
tailor-made for business visitors,” she explained. “Their design is supported by findings of our market surveys, which ensures that the tool can fully service visitors’ needs.”
To assess the needs of business visitors and to identify the most convenient and efficient channels for disseminating comprehensive travel information, the HKTB
conducted in-depth market surveys among business travellers. These surveys show that business travellers generally have very hectic schedules and limited time for
leisure activities. Convenient and handy information therefore allows them to plan their activities and make the best use of their leisure time.
The results also show that business visitors mostly needed information on shopping, dining, sightseeing and entertainment. Indeed, 70% of business travellers
shopped in Hong Kong, while 55% hosted business meals during their stay. Among those who took part in sightseeing, close to 90% arranged their own itinerary. The
city’s renowned nightlife was also popular among business travellers for relaxation.
The new PDA leisure guide builds on the widespread use of PDA, a common tool among business travellers. Surveys by the HKTB show that, on average, 21% of
business travellers own a PDA, a higher percentage than for other visitors. In the case of business visitors from the US, the percentage rises as high as 40%. Of
those business travellers who own a PDA, 75% brought them along when visiting Hong Kong.
The PDA leisure guide
boasts a simple and user-friendly interface, which is intended to encourage usage. By selecting the icons, users can have information about
shopping, dining, sightseeing and entertainment in the palms of their hand. The guide also offers an interactive search engine and digital map. Visitors can make
use of the search engine to locate over 5,200 shopping and dining outlets accredited under the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) scheme, and can search these outlets by
product, cuisine type or location. Moreover, they can search for events and performances in town by date and by event type.
Another breakthrough feature of the PDA application is the digital map, which covers the whole of Hong Kong. This digital map includes all points of interest, shops,
restaurants and tourist attractions recommended and included in the Leisure Guide for Business Travellers. It permits the user to zoom in from city overview level
to major streets and buildings, and can even show visitors their locations relative to each place, so long as the PDA is equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS)
device. This navigation tool helps visitors access different locations in the city and encourages them to visit various attractions.
To further assist visitors in getting around town, there is human voice demonstration of Cantonese phrases commonly used in Hong Kong for greeting, bargaining in
markets and ordering in restaurants.
Through its worldwide offices, the internet, roadshows and other publicity channels, the HKTB will publicise the PDA leisure guide to the travel trade, media and
consumers worldwide, including the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, Mainland China and Taiwan.
The PDA edition of the Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers is available in English, traditional and simplified Chinese. Visitors can download the application
free from the HKTB’s web site via the link http://www.DiscoverHongKong.com/pda.
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