Hong Kong upbeat ahead of Qantas rejig

Hong Kong upbeat ahead of Qantas rejig
By admin

Hong Kong's tourism board expects the restructure of Qantas's Asian network to deliver a boost to tourism, despite a reduction in stopover traffic as the carrier diverts its Kangaroo route via Dubai.

Hong Kong Tourism Board regional director, Andrew Clark, told Travel Today that the destination expects to benefit from Qantas' 40% increase in capacity to the destination, one in a series of regional network changes announced ahead of its proposed tie-up with Emirates.

"I'd like to think it's slightly positive," he said. "I'm thinking that they're going to have to be more focused on Asia as a destination rather than just being a stopover en route to Europe."

Clark expects to see a "more aggressive" promotion of Asian destinations by the airline in coming months and confirmed they are currently in talks regarding future cooperation.

"Hopefully we'll be rolling things out with them in the near future, but that's yet to be confirmed," he revealed.

The tourism body is already seeing success in its promotion of Hong Kong as a destination in its own right, Clark revealed.

Although Australian visitor numbers remained flat in 2012 year on year, the source market delivered a "significant" increase in length of stay and expenditure.

Aussies are now staying an average four nights in Hong Kong, and spending HK$9,500 putting them fourth after China, Russia and the UAE.

He also reported a rise in the number of people adding trips to neighbouring destinations to their stay, with more than 40% of travellers crossing the border into China and equal amounts heading for Macau.

"Beijing and Shanghai are also popular add-ons from Hong Kong with fantastic air connectivity into both of those cities," Clark said.

HKTB will launch its summer campaign at the end of April, featuring a mix of outdoor, digital and television advertising. It coincides with a "significant" campaign in partnership with Flight Centre which will be supported by additional promotional activity through similar media channels as well as through Flight Centre's retail stores and email marketing.

It will be followed by a winter campaign which will seek to promote November's Wine and Dine month, and Christmas shopping opportunities for those travelling through Hong Kong to Europe in the peak stopover month of December.

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