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HKTB aims to boost spending with 2004 Hong Kong Shopping Festival

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 13 May 2004

Visitor arrivals 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.

Citywide participation

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.

Special offers

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. 

Exciting entertainment

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 activities.

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.

Further 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.

Promotional efforts

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."

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