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Policy Address 2022: Hong Kong’s new leader announces no new measures to boost international tourism; support for local tourism instead

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Aruzhan ZEINULLA、Le Ha NGUYEN、Angela HuangEdited by: Malick Gai
  • 2022-10-19

Hong Kong’s leader John Lee Ka-chiu announced support for existing measures to boost local tourism in his maiden policy address, with no timeline as to when the city will fully reopen to international tourists.    The government will allocate HK$600 million (US$76 million) towards the three-year “Cultural and Heritage Sites Local Tour Incentive Scheme” to boost local tourism with an emphasis on cultural and heritage elements, a policy that was also mentioned in this year’s Budget Address.   “To re-establish Hong Kong's position as the region's premier travel destination, the Hong Kong Tourism Board will enhance its support for tourism in light of the epidemic development so as to attract more high value-added overnight visitors to Hong Kong,” said Lee.   A new round of “Spend-to-Redeem Local Tours” and “Staycation Delights,” campaigns providing the public with guided local tours and hotel staycation discounts, will be launched with an increased quota to enhance local consumption, the chief executive said in his policy address.    “I would prefer tourists over government subsidies. There's very little opportunity for sustainable business with just local tourism,” said Amy Overy, the owner of Hong Kong Greeters, a travel agency that provides private tours for tourists.    The city is still longing for further relaxation on quarantine requirements to attract mainland and overseas tourists.    “HKTB is yet to find any unique elements to promote the city,” said Dave Chan, an instructor from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.    Chan said the government has been promoting cultural and historical elements but it failed to draw foreign tourists’ interest.    Chan added that around half of the travellers arriving in Hong Kong every year come from mainland China but because the border is yet to open, the recovery of the …