HKTB & TTB Find Success With Multi-Destination Campaign
with Caroline Booth
Michael Lim, Director, HKTB & Anthony Lau
One year after the Hong Kong and Taiwan tourism boards joined forces to promote multi-destination travel to Asia, the two partners say the results have been exceptional. For 2016, numbers show a double digit increase of Canadian visits to both destinations.
"Good airfare and good hotel rooms means good growth," said Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), during a recent stopover in Toronto. Toronto was one of a handful of North American cities he visited to share updates about the progress achieved over the past year.
Progress is positive thanks to a combination of factors, one of which is the number of new hotel rooms in Hong Kong, which translates to competitive rates for visitors. At a steady pace of 2000 rooms being added each year, the total in a few years will reach about 83,000, according to Lau.
The multi-destination approach to luring travellers is another key factor, especially for the long-haul market. “When you take the time to come to Asia, you want to stay a while. You need a secondary destination,” said Lau.
Taiwan is just a 90-minute flight from Hong Kong, and with a choice of 70 flights a day via 5 local airlines, the combination makes a lot of sense. An added bonus for Canadians is that there is no need for a Taiwan visa for visits of 72 hours or less.
There are currently 19 Canadian tour operators offering 22 packages featuring both destinations, thus providing no shortage of things to see and do. While Taiwan's offerings emphasize the country's natural beauty and eco tours, Hong Kong, known as Asia's World City, offers a taste of its cosmopolitan lifestyle and historical culture.
Earlier this year HKTB launched a new “Old Town Central” program. The program offers 5 themed walking routes designed to reveal over 100 years of Hong Kong history spanning the former colonial neighbourhood that has been transformed to the present dazzling financial district. Visitors will see art galleries, temples, antique stores, trending restaurants and colonial monuments.
HKTB has worked hard for several years to build strong relationships with its trade partners, and was one of the first to offer an agent specialist program. According to Lau, the Hong Kong Specialist Club is still going strong today with over 1000 registered Canadian agents thanks to a strong recruitment program and enticing benefits.
For example, agents who successfully complete 3 modules will receive a Welcome Pack that includes a Tourist Sim Card, MTR Tourist Pass, Harbour Cruise and more. "These are all things that will help the agent experience the destination and demonstrate the convenience of being there."
Visit the Hong Kong Specialist website to join the club.