The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) recently
launched its “2006 Discover Hong Kong Year Launch” campaign,
highlighting the city’s new tourist spots. Clara Chong, the HKTB’s
executive director, discusses the more than $4 billion invested in
attractions from events to eco-friendly activities, and of course,
Hong Kong Disney.
Why did the Hong Kong government decide to
invest billions of dollars in tourism?
Tourism has been identified as one of the key
pillars for driving the economic development of Hong Kong. The
governor has placed great importance on this industry and has put
aside investments in infrastructure and marketing funds to help
promote Hong Kong as a premier destination in the world.
Can you describe Hong Kong’s coming tourist
Hong Kong Disney is just one of the many
attractions that will come on stream in 2005 and early 2006.
Additionally, tourist can see the Symphony of Lights a free laser,
music and light show every evening at 8 p.m. across the Harbor.
Set to open in January, the Hong Kong Wetland Park
is more for families and nature lovers. The park’s Visitor’s Center
will feature interactive facilities so guests can learn about the
wildlife. And last but not least, is the Ngong Ping 360.
What new attraction do you think will be
the most popular among tourists from the U.S.?
I feel a lot of long-haul and U.S. travelers will
be interested in the Ngong Ping 360. Tourists can take a 20-minute
cable car ride all the way above North Lantau. There’s a
themed-cultural village, and travelers can really enjoy the
uniqueness of Hong Kong.
Why did the HKTB launch the “2006 Discover
Hong Kong Year Launch” campaign?
With all these new infrastructures, we feel it’s
the perfect time to show the world that Hong Kong is more than just
a shopper’s paradise and culinary capital. We have repackaged the
existing favorite, plus we will unveil a lot of hidden treasures,
like eco-tourism and parks.
How much tourist spending does Hong Kong
expect to see in the coming year?
We expect to see $14.7 million in visitors’
spending for 2006.