On 2 March, the French Chamber held its tourism symposium aboard Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry, bringing together a line-up of experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a destination. The diverse panel included experts from retail, luxury, arts and culture, city planning, investment, as well as market research and intelligence sectors. The HKSAR Government’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau as well as the Hong Kong Tourism Board also joined the discussion and shared views on the latest developments in tourism policy and promotion activities.
With roughly 60 million annual arrivals, Hong Kong is already a very hot destination on the tourism map. However, overall spending, number of arrivals, as well as the average length of stay, have been dropping over the past few years. As part of the Chamber’s commitment to the long-term economic development of Hong Kong, this gathering aimed to examine how different sectors should collaborate and drive Hong Kong to become more than just a hub for day-trippers and stop-over visitors.
The vision for Hong Kong’s tourism strategy
Opening the discussion, Mr Philip Yung, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), HKSAR Government, said, “The HKSAR Government will continue to work closely with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the tourism industry, as well as various stakeholders in the community to pursue the balanced and sustainable development of Hong Kong tourism industry. Some of the government’s key strategic initiatives over the next few years include developing new tourism infrastructure, strengthening Hong Kong’s position as a major events hub in the region, developing and furthering the development of cruise tourism and green tourism by leveraging on Hong Kong’s natural resources, as well as lengthening the period of stay of international transfer and transit passengers to Hong Kong. We are dedicated to making Hong Kong a world-class travel destination for tourists across the globe.”
Dr Peter Lam, Chairman, Hong Kong Tourism Board, gave an update on the upcoming key strategic promotion initiatives from the Board. He said, “At Hong Kong Tourism Board, we are dedicated to working together with different sectors in Hong Kong to promote Hong Kong as a world-class destination through multiple channels, and to showcase the best travel experiences visitors can enjoy. We already launched a series of new promotion campaigns as a response to the changing preferences and behaviors of international tourists. Moving forward, we will continue to create opportunities to provide the best of Hong Kong’s local experiences to our tourists.”
The French Chamber Hong Kong has been an integral part of the Hong Kong business community since its establishment in 1986. It provides a business networking, trade development and promotion, as well as policy advocacy platform for more than 800 French enterprises and SEMs in the sectors of services, consumer foods, food and beverage, financial, transport, tourism, technology, infrastructure, industrial and healthcare in Hong Kong. Ms Rebecca Silli, President, French Chamber Hong Kong said, “The Chamber and our members contribute to the prosperity of Hong Kong’s tourism and other industries. With the support from HKSAR Government, Hong Kong Tourism Board, and all other French businesses and partners here in Hong Kong, we are able to stage this panel discussion and get the industry’s insights into the future of Hong Kong’s tourism and economy. The event is also a platform that demonstrates the Chamber’s commitment in pulling the French businesses in Hong Kong together to generate ideas for the long-term development of the city.”
Thanks to our speakers
The array of premium speakers included Mr Philip Yung, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), HKSAR Government; Dr Peter Lam, Chairman, Hong Kong Tourism Board; Mr Anthony Lau, Executive Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board; Mr Alain Li, CEO Asia-Pacific, Richemont; Ms Mariana Kou, Head of China Education and Hong Kong Consumer Research, CLSA; Mr Douglas Young, CEO & Co-Founder, G.O.D; Dr Bruce Chong, Associate, Policy and Sustainability, ARUP; Mr Raymond Chow, Executive Director, Hongkong Land; Mr Francois Chabaudie, CEO & Founder, NEOMA; Ms Anne Kerr, Global Head Cities, Mott MacDonald; Mr Nicholas Brooke, Chairman, Harbourfront Commission; Dr Peter Cookson Smith, Founder, Urbis; Mr Mike Hill, CEO & Co-Founder, Clockenflap; Ms Waltraut Ritter, Founder, Knowledge Dialogues; as well as Mr Anson Bailey, Head of Consumer Markets (Hong Kong), KPMG.