Tourism touchpoints must be safer

HONG KONG, 29 April 2020: Hong Kong intends to make tourism touchpoints clean and sanitised to win the hearts of travellers who will demand much higher health safety in the post-Covid-19 world.

 It will mean that public health conditions at destinations including hygiene standards of transportation, hotels and other tourism facilities will become a top priority for tourist boards, the Hong Kong Tourism Board chairman Dr YK Pang told a web conference last Friday.

HKTB chairman Dr YK Pang (left) and executive director Dane Cheng (right) provide the local travel trade with updates on HKTB’s upcoming plan.

“The tourism landscape will be reshaped. In the post-pandemic world, we will see a shift in preference and behaviour among travellers –  people will prefer short-haul breaks and shorter itineraries; wellness-themed trips will become a new trend,” he told the online audience.

“It is time for us to rethink Hong Kong’s position in the global tourism market and elevate service standards.”

The web conference attracted 1,500 representatives from travel agencies, attractions, hotels, airlines, the retail and F&B industries, as well as Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) and cruise sectors. HKTB identified key takeaways at the close of the presentations

Short-haul and new markets

Domestic travel will be the major preference shortly after the pandemic ends, and outbound travel will resume later.

Regional competition will be fiercer than ever to capture business from fewer source markets capable of sending tourists overseas.

There is potential to tap the Muslim travel market. The tourism board will also be working closely with Hong Kong partners to develop and provide more Muslim-friendly services.

Japan, Korea and Taiwan, particularly the young and middle-aged segments, are likely to consider travel before other groups.

Green tourism and the outdoors will be favoured along with short-haul travel due to financial constraints.

In Mainland China, given the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, consumers will be more price-conscious and pursue value-for-money holidays.

After prolonged lockdowns, travellers will choose destinations that pose low risks to health.

Long-haul Markets

Long-haul markets will take a much longer time to recover. Travel may resume in the last quarter of this year at the earliest.

The HKTB has announced earlier that it will be allocating HKD400 million to support promotions and a new tourism brand campaign.