Hong Kong has been voted Favourite Overseas City for the second year in a row in the UK’s Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited Travel Awards. More than 13,500 readers participated in the poll by two of the country’s leading upmarket national newspapers and their joint website, which claim readerships of affluent young professionals with a high propensity to travel.
Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), The Hon James Tien, thanked the UK readers for choosing Hong Kong. “The award confirms not only Hong Kong’s enduring appeal, but also our strategy this year to market Hong Kong as a hip and trendy destination to British travellers,” he said. “We’re especially grateful to the UK and local travel-trade partners for doing so much to fly the flag for Hong Kong all year round. We’ll continue to work closely with them in growing this important source market, leveraging the opportunities brought by the 2008 Olympic Games.”
Capitalising on the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the strong interest in Mainland China, the HKTB is collaborating with tour operators to launch combo-itineraries comprising Hong Kong, Beijing and other Mainland cities, so that Hong Kong is a must-stop on every UK visitor’s Olympic itinerary. The HKTB also rolled out a series of equestrian-themed promotions earlier this month, given the country’s strong tradition in equestrianism.
The UK remains a key long-haul market for Hong Kong, and the biggest single source of visitors in Europe. Last year, arrivals from the UK reached a new high of 516,495, with a further increase of 20.3% recorded in the first nine months of 2007. Out of the total UK overnight arrivals in 2006, 87% travelled on multi-destination itineraries, with 40% visiting Mainland China.