to Hong Kong are expected to top 3.7 million, a growth of 20% on the equivalent
periods in 2003 and 2002, when the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) stages
the 2004 Hong Kong Shopping Festival between 26 June and 31 August.
HKTB Executive Director Ms Clara Chong said today
that the event would not only attract a wide range of visitors from different target segments, but would also
encourage additional spending and thus make a significant contribution to the
tourism and related sectors, along with the economy at large.
Building on previous successes, this year's Shopping Festival reinforces Hong
Kong's shopping attractions, one of its core strengths. "The Festival will extend
beyond the delights of shopping to include dining, entertainment and celebrations
that promise an unforgettable 'total experience' to visitors," Ms Chong said.
"Coupled with a wide range of special privilege offers and Hong Kong's renowned
quality service standards, the Shopping Festival capitalises on our destination's
diversity, its non-stop energy and vibrancy, and its huge choice of shopping and
dining options to showcase the city's hospitality."
The Hong Kong Shopping Festival will especially encourage visitors to participate
in more night-time shopping, dining and entertainment activities. In line with an
HKTB survey that shows most shops and restaurants in tourist areas open until
10:00 pm or later, the Festival has received strong support for late-night opening
from retail and dining outlets, which will reinforce the appeal of Hong Kong as a
city of never-ending fun and excitement.
Ms Chong emphasised that quality service was also crucial to Hong Kong's
reputation as an international tourism destination. In this respect, the HKTB has
solid backing from merchants participating in the Festival, all of whom meet the
event's quality service criteria and have pledged to play their part in upholding
quality standards and demonstrating Hong Kong's hospitality culture.
To create a fun-filled, citywide 'shopping spree' atmosphere, the HKTB is
encouraging local retailers and restaurants to take an active part in the Shopping
Festival. Shopping and dining will be made especially convenient as many outlets
will be promoted as part of shopping 'clusters' and popular food districts
frequented by visitors. At the same time, outlets located beyond these clusters
and districts will have many opportunities to capitalise on the additional business
potential generated by the Festival.
The HKTB has secured the support of more than 160 merchants and restaurants
accredited under the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) scheme, representing over
200 outlets, to provide shopping and dining offers during the Festival period.
These enticing offers will be promoted to visitors through a 2004 Hong Kong
Shopping Festival Passport. As an example, both visitors and residents will be
able to enjoy 50% off the labour charge of pure gold items at shops displaying the
signs of the Hong Kong Jewellers' and Goldsmiths' Association and The Kowloon
Pearls, Precious stones, Jade, Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association.
The HKTB is also working closely with various trade organisations to create
theme activities and special programmes that complement the Festival's four
major shopping themes: Fashion & Beauty, Jewellery & Watches, Consumer
Electronics and Chinese Traditions. These organisations include the Cosmetics &
Perfumery Association of Hong Kong; the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries; Hong Kong & Kowloon Electrical Appliances Merchants
Association and Radio Association of Hong Kong; and Hong Kong Chinese Medicine Merchants Association.
Hong Kong's food and beverage sector is showing equally strong support for the
Shopping Festival. Bars and restaurants in nine popular food districts, including
Lan Kwai Fong, the SoHo area, Stanley, Knutsford Terrace, Canton Road and
Hillwood Road, will be taking it in turns to stage their own food festivals during the
events, and many outlets will also be offering special visitor menus.
A further highlight of the Festival, and an added encouragement to spending, will
be a Lucky Draw featuring 56 fabulous prizes worth more than HK$2 million in
total. Every spending of HK$300 or more on a single stamped receipt at participating merchants or restaurants earns the purchaser one lucky draw entry
coupon, which can be claimed at redemption counters located around the city.
Entertainment will be another important element of the 'total experience' offered to
visitors, who will be especially encouraged to come out and participate in evening
A core event of the Festival will be a multimedia water theatre show called Aqua
Fantasia, staged nightly at 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm in front of the Clock
Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. Using the world-renowned Victoria Harbour as a stunning backdrop, together with a 360-degree screen created by water curtains
and the walls of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the spectacular 10-minute show
aims to exemplify Hong Kong's vibrancy and energy, and is set to become a "must
see" event for visitors and residents alike. The show employs world-leading multimedia
technology and for the first time in the world, features two different images
projected simultaneously on to a water screen.
special performances will be organised by the HKTB near the Clock Tower during
weekends, while the newly-opened Avenue of Stars is just nearby and this area
also provides the perfect viewing point for another acclaimed multimedia show - A
Symphony of Lights - which takes place every night over the harbour.
The HKTB is
also encouraging other organisations citywide to stage special evening and night-time events. The Board will also
promote the many other regular and special activities taking place during the
Festival period, including Ocean Park's Big Splash Summer, the international hit
musical MAMMA MIA!, the 2004 Hong Kong Book Fair and the 2004 Food Expo.
Extensive promotional efforts have already been launched by the HKTB
worldwide to generate consumer awareness of the Hong Kong Shopping Festival
and encourage the overseas travel trade to create themed shopping and dining
packages around the event. Further international publicity will result from a series
of familiarisation tours being organised for the media and travel trade in key
markets worldwide. In addition, the HKTB is organising a Shopper of the Year
competition in 16 overseas markets to showcase Hong Kong's shopping experiences through international media channels and consumer promotions.
"Since January this year, visitor arrivals have been showing growth each month
on the comparative figures for 2003," Ms Chong concluded. "Provisional figures
indicate that the April total will exceed 1.73 million. Through our ambitious
promotional efforts, coupled with the keen support of our travel trade and local
merchants, we hope that visitor arrivals during the Shopping Festival period will
set further new records."