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Hong Kong to revive Indian tourist arrivals hit by DeMo, GST

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Peter Hoslin

Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is channeling efforts to recover decline in Indian tourist arrivals, caused last year and in the first half this year, following demonetisation and GST impact. Total Indian tourist arrivals to Hong Kong in 2016 have been recorded at 480,000. Whereas, from January to June 2017, there has been a 15 per cent decline. Peter Hoslin, regional director – Europe and new markets, Hong Kong Tourism Board, said, “We have seen spectacular performance over the last five-six years. However in 2016, the India market faced a slowdown due to demonetisation, but we are rebuilding travel trade relations and are focusing on our strategies. The first half of 2017 has also seen a decline from the India market, due to GST and other factors. This year we have been engaged in strengthening our connect with the Indian travel trade, and educating the industry.”

As part of its trade mission in 2017 in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata, HKTB brought 31 industry partners from Hong Kong. Currently China is biggest market for inbound tourism in Hong Kong, but HKTB is working on bringing India into out list of top 10 markets.

“Our focus in 2018 will be targeting young travellers (mid-20s to early 40s). Youth is our primary target, but we will also be focused on families. We will reach out to the young segment through social media and digital campaigns, and creating synergies with OTAs. We will also be pushing travel troughout the year. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru will be our prime focus markets in India, due to their young population. MICE is a significant industry for Hong Kong, but we are still a leisure-oriented destination,” added Hoslin.

Elaborating on the trending tourism offering in Hong Kong, he said that cruise tourism is a strong segment in Hong Kong, and the tourism board is expecting that new cruise offerings will attract more Indian travellers to Hong Kong.

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