In Focus
HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Cross-border travel unlikely in next six months: HKTB

The pandemic situation remains volatile despite the vaccination programme.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has announced the full resumption of cross-border travel is unlikely in the next three to six months even as the government started the vaccination programme against COVID-19.

“Despite the start of vaccinations against COVID19 worldwide, the pandemic situation remains volatile and unpredictable,” HKTB Executive Director Dane Cheng said.

He noted, however, that selected markets could possibly enter Hong Kong.

The announcement was made as the HKTB outlined its strategies in driving the tourism sector toward recovery for the short term, medium term and long term.

The plan focused on two key areas: supporting and trade and boosting ambience in Hong Kong whilst ensuring its sustained exposure in the international arena, and setting aside large-scale tourism promotions as it anticipates an intense competition for tourists.

Cheng noted HKTB that the remainder of its $700m additional funding under the 2020/21 budget was not utilized due to the pandemic and will therefore be returned to the government. For 2021/22, HKTB received an additional fund of $765m.

HKTB has $1.138b marketing budget for 2021/22, including recurring funding. Of this, 35% will be allocated to short-term strategies, such as the new spend-to-redeem programme Staycation Delights and the second phase of the Free Tour programme.

HKTB will also launch a large-scale promotional platform called Open House Hong Kong as well as revamp its mainland strategies and increase marketing resources for the Greater Bay Area.

A total of 40% will be earmarked for medium-term and long-term strategies, such as drafting a long-term promotional strategy, create a one-stop e-solution program for a digitally enabled travel experience, and join other cities in GBA for its promotion.

The remaining 25% are earmarked to ongoing initiatives to support trade and maintain Hong Kong’s international exposure.

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