Tourism in Hong Kong: Random Jotting

HKTB photo 4 72By Sayar Mya (MOFA)

A sea of people at arrival
On a cool Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm local time, the Myanma National Airlines (MNA – 8027) aircraft landed on the Hong Kong soil. Our loving daughter was waiting at the exit tube of the aircraft, from where we had to walk a long, long way to arrive at the immigration counter, as the terminal is very large.
Wow!!! Thousands of visiting passengers were queuing in a zigzag row to get to the immigration counters. In 2014, a record 60.8 million visitors came to the city. Last year in 2017, the total number of visitors was 58.4 million.
One handsome junior immigration officer saw me in limbo, and asked me, “Grandpa!!! You looked tired. Come with me to another counter”. He was a man with a soft heart towards senior citizens. I am thankful to him, good guys.
Hospitality and courtesy starts from the airport from the very beginning for the visitors.
I have noted down the sea of people arriving at the airport to write an article about tourism in Hong Kong at an appropriate time.

Myanmar CCDNTI meeting held to promote country’s tourism industry
The Central Committee for the Development of the National Tourism Industry (CCDNTI) was held on 3 August 2018, with an opening address by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The meeting was the first for 2018, becoming the fourth since the formation of the committee in 2016, and it was held to promote the country’s tourism industry.
The State Counsellor said that international visitors are humans like us and that they want to see, experience things conveniently and comfortably.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi pointed out that at the moment, international travel business is important not only for a country but also for the entire world. Since the earliest time, there were instances of travelling. At that time, merchants were the ones who mostly travelled and they travelled for trading purposes. The first time travel was done for knowledge and not for trade was by extraordinary people who wished to seek knowledge. There were also people who travelled for adventure.
As the world became developed, most of the travelling is done for recreation, to see things that do not exist in one’s country of origin and to gain knowledge. To attract international travelers to our country, we need to think of ourselves as hosts. If the thinking is to make money only, it would not be as successful as we wish. A host first thinks about the requirement of the guests.
At this opportune time, the author takes the liberty in sharing about tourism in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, is a special administrative region in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban centre is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline.
The tourism industry has been an important part of the economy of Hong Kong since it shifted to a service sector model in the late 1980s and early ’90s. There has been a sharp increase of domestic tourists following the introduction of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) in 2003.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board works closely with authorities to make Hong Kong an essential component in all combination and multi-destination itineraries.
Tourism, along with international trade and financial services are the three main sources of income for Hong Kong.

Tourism Commission
The Tourism Commission was established in May 1999 to promote Hong Kong as Asia’s premier international city for all visitors. A Tourism Strategy Group, comprising representatives from the Government, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and various sectors of the tourism industry has been established to advise the Government on tourism development from a strategic perspective.

Promotion
The HKTB continues to promote the destination to business and leisure travelers through its worldwide “Hong Kong – Live it, Love it!” campaign. Leveraging on the opening of several new attractions from 2005 onwards, the HKTB designated 2006 as “Discover Hong Kong Year”. The global marketing campaign makes use of a series of strategic promotions to showcase the new image of Hong Kong and promote it as a “must-visit” destination in 2006. The HKTB began its travel trade promotion in May 2005 and rolled out the consumer promotions worldwide in late 2005. An agreement called “Aloagreement” was signed and implemented with a series of joint overseas marketing initiatives being conducted with provincial tourism bureaus concerned.
The board revealed at least five districts would be earmarked for a global campaign promoting their unique culture and heritage, building on the success of the Old Town Central initiative last year. It is a place where East and West, past and present coexist and collide.
Tourism is regarded as one of the four pillars of Hong Kong’s economy, contributing 4.7 per cent to the city’s gross domestic product in 2016.
The number 60 million should not be seen as a threshold for our capacity, according to Executive Director Anthony Lau of HK Tourism Board.

Tourism
The guideline in the Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s 2017 Policy address is as follows:
107. Over the years, tourism has remained one of the pillar industries of Hong Kong. Visitor arrivals increased by 1.9% year-on-year in the first eight months of this year. The current-term Government has set a clear vision and mission to press ahead with the development of Hong Kong into a world-class premier tourism destination. Apart from maintaining a steady growth in visitor numbers, we are more concerned about attracting more high-yield overnight visitors to ensure the balanced, healthy and sustainable development of the tourism industry.

New appointments
Anthony Lau has been appointed Tourism Board Executive Director with Daisy Lam as deputy. Their appointments took effect 1 August and 1 September 2017.
Secretary for Economic Development & Labor Stephen Ip said they have extensive experience in marketing and management.
Tourism Board Chairman James Tien said their deep knowledge of the local and international markets and their superb management skills will help the board market and promote Hong Kong worldwide, and meet new challenges and opportunities amid intensified competition in the global tourism market.
“They will lead the organization to even closer collaboration with travel-trade partners, and help strengthen Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s premier destinations,” he said.

Conclusion
General Manager Richard Hatter, an experienced troubleshooter from the Shangri-La group said, “I had a clear idea of our clientele. They were looking for something sophisticated, authentic and local – it was a trend.”
The author would like to conclude, it is the hospitality; warm reception, sociability and cordiality are the core elements in the tourism industry.

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