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HKTB hosts Shopping Contest in 15 Markets

Travel News Asia 2 June 2004

A massive shopping spree has been created globally as the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is staging the "2004 Shopper of the Year" contest in 15 major markets. As well as publicising the Hong Kong Shopping Festival to be launched on 26 June, the contest is intended to create a wave of shopping expeditions to the city. On 20 and 21 July, shortlisted contestants from these markets will come to Hong Kong to vie for the title of the 'Shopper of the Year'.

HKTB Executive Director Ms Clara Chong said today that the fun-filled contest would help create extensive publicity for the Shopping Festival internationally. "Besides showcasing the shopping strengths of Hong Kong including value for money, variety of choices, quality assurance and service excellence, the contest will enable visitors to enjoy the many activities during the Festival period and the 'total experience' offered by Hong Kong," she remarked. "No matter what their interests are, there will be endless fun and excitement for everyone to enjoy from day to night."

In 2002, the "Shopper of the Year" contest received strong support from different markets. With the number of participating markets increased from 10 to 15 this year, the contest is set to create even stronger promotional impact. The 15 participating markets comprise Australia, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Shortlisted contestants from these markets will each be awarded two round-trip air tickets to Hong Kong and hotel accommodation to enable them to bring along their partners to take part in the final challenge on 20 and 21 July.

The HKTB is introducing two new elements to this year's competition. To tie in with the late-night shopping fun of the Shopping Festival, the final round of the contest in Hong Kong will take place in the evening from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Each contestant and his or her partner will be given HK$3,000 to purchase one item from each of the Festival's four major shopping themes: Fashion & Beauty, Jewellery & Watches, Consumer Electronics and Chinese Traditions. They will be required to shop at Quality Tourism Services (QTS) scheme merchant outlets and/or the 2004 Hong Kong Shopping Festival participating merchants displaying the designated decal. The contestant judged to have made the best buys and bargains will be named 'Shopper of the Year'. 

Adding to the excitement, the contestants will be required to photograph a "must see" attraction of Hong Kong. This will enable them to experience not only the city's shopping fun but also its multi-dimensional attractions. The winning team that captures the best "must-see" attraction in pictures will be presented with 'The Most Creative Photo Award'.

Through its worldwide offices, the HKTB is conducting the first rounds of the contest in association with shopping malls, department stores, web sites, newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and TV stations in the 15 markets. These include Jazz FM in the UK. To select the contestants for the final round,  different contest formats such as on-line games, quizzes, essay and shopping competitions are being adopted. Through different media channels and consumer promotions, the HKTB aims to promote the Shopping Festival and encourage more consumers to come to Hong Kong to enjoy the 'total experience'.

The Board is bringing in more than 50 media representatives from the respective markets to Hong Kong. Their coverage will enable visitors worldwide to share the shopping fun of Hong Kong and generate sustained publicity for the Shopping Festival.

With the generous support of the sponsors, winners of the final contest will receive a number of fabulous prizes. The grand prizes include two Cathay Pacific Business Class round trip tickets between Hong Kong and any destination within its network, two extra nights of hotel stay (upgraded to a suite), a Samsung 40" LCD TV and two Samsung Notebooks. Those deemed by the judges to have the highest scores in the four shopping theme categories and the 'Most Creative Photo Award' winner will each win a Hitachi DVD Camera. In addition, all contestants can keep the items they purchase.

Members of the judging panel are HKTB Executive Director Ms Clara Chong; representatives from the Quality Tourism Services Association and sponsoring organisations. To encourage local participation, the panel will also include a local resident. The prize presentation ceremony is scheduled for 21 July.

Preparations for the Hong Kong Shopping Festival, which takes place between 26 June and 31 August, are now well underway. One of the core events will be a multimedia water theatre show called Aqua Fantasia staged nightly in front of the Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. In addition to the show, eye-catching decorations will be mounted on the Clock Tower to turn the historic landmark into a giant shopping bag. To widely publicise the event, HKTB staff will distribute  promotional leaflets and Hong Kong Shopping Festival Passport to visitors at major entry points during the Festival period.

Since the details of the Shopping Festival were announced, the HKTB has received enthusiastic responses from local merchants. The Board anticipates that more than 5,500 outlets will participate in the Shopping Festival eventually. Over 1,000 outlets accredited under the QTS scheme have already undertaken to provide special offers to visitors.

To create even more incentive for visitors to spend, the HKTB is organising a Lucky Draw that features 56 fabulous prizes worth more than HK$2 million in total. For every spending of HK$300 or more on a single receipt at the participating merchants or restaurants, the purchaser can receive a stamp and collect one lucky draw entry coupon at the redemption counters located around the city.

During the Festival period, Aqua Fantasia will be staged nightly at 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Pyrotechnics will be added to the three sessions on 26 June and to the 9:30 pm show on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. To create a party atmosphere, further special performances will be organised near the Clock  Tower during weekends and public holidays. Together with various regular and special activities taking place during the Festival period, the whole city will be filled with endless fun and joy, offering visitors a 'total experience'.

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