Hong Kong tourism to capitalise on 'winterfest'

MUMBAI: The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) will stage its Hong Kong WinterFest programme for the third consecutive year from 26 November 2004 to 2 January 2005. The Board expects that the programme will boost visitor arrivals by 13.4 per cent to 2.49 million during the five-week period.



Along with other mega-events throughout the year, it will help bring the total arrivals for 2004 to a historic high level, informs an official release.

At a press conference to announce the event details, HKTB executive director Clara Chong said that visitor arrivals for the first nine months of 2004 had already surpassed those recorded for the entire 12 months of 2003. "With the added appeal of Hong Kong WinterFest, we are confident that the growth momentum will continue through the last quarter of the year," she said. "We have therefore revised our forecast for 2004 from 20.5 million to 21.3 million.



"The WinterFest programme has enjoyed phenomenal success in the past two years. Last year, it attracted almost 2.2 million visitors during the five-week event period, 8% more than in 2002. As well as helping us set new monthly records for December, it has successfully turned our winterfestive season, which normally has fewer business and long-haul visitors, into another peak travel season," Chong explained.

To promote Hong Kong's multi-dimensional attractions to more visitor segments, notably couples, families and lovers of shopping and dining, the HKTB will introduce even more enticing elements around the theme of 'Love and Care' this year. "Leveraging on the Christmas spirit of love and care, we will add more family-friendly elements, which will help us reinforce Hong Kong's reputation as a family destination and pave way for the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland," Chong added.



This year, the HKTB will transform Statue Square - Hong Kong's central business district - into a Nordic Santa's Town. In addition, there will be Hong Kong's highest outdoor dazzling Christmas tree and a romantic mistletoe boulevard in the vicinity. These enticing elements will ensure a warm and merry holiday and an unforgettable experience for visitors and local residents, making Hong Kong the focus of Christmas and New Year celebrations in Asia, the release further added.

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