Hong Kong, which received over seven per cent growth in Indian arrivals during the first quarter of 2019, is aiming for an accelerated growth from India market this year. “In 2019, we expect a growth in our Indian arrivals especially with improved air connectivity on Cathay Pacific from all six key Indian ports and two new LCC’s Indigo and SpiceJet flying from New Delhi and Bengaluru and a strong demand in Incentive group travel and fly-cruise segment. we are positive about the increase in market share this year,” Puneet Kumar, Director, South Asia & Middle East, Hong Kong Tourism Board, said.
Hong Kong has witnessed a de-growth for seven quarters starting 2017 and 2018 but India arrivals are now on growth trajectory since Q4 2018. “In Q1 2019, we registered a growth of 7.3 per cent YoY, close to 83,000 Indian visitors arrived into Hong Kong. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru are the top three source markets; we have also noticed growing demand for travel to Hong Kong from Ahmedabad, Cochin and Pune,” Kumar informed.
In order to achieve the increased numbers, the Board has lined up multi-phased promotional campaigns in partnership with leading media, trade, and non-trade partners to engage with leisure, cruise and MICE segment in India. “In 2019, our focus is to creatively communicate and engage with the young affluent Indian travellers to bring alive Hong Kong’s core experiences such as living culture and festivals, rejuvenated local neighborhoods, soft adventure in green great outdoors, vibrant dining and nightlife scene, action-packed global events and cruising from Hong Kong along with iconic sights and sound of top attractions,” he added.
Currently, India is among the top 15 source markets for Hong Kong and the Board aims to increase the number of arrivals and spends from India to be among the top 10 markets for Hong Kong. “80 per cent of our India overnight arrivals into Hong Kong come on multiple destination itineraries. For Indians, Hong Kong remains the main draw among the other destinations in Greater Bay Area. In 2018, on average Indian travellers stayed for four nights with an average spends of HK$6,003 per trip,” he revealed.
Speaking about the growth in MICE segment from India, Kumar said that Hong Kong sets off to a new MICE tourism era in 2019 and it will be highlighting a world of opportunities for MICE planners through the city’s latest product offerings, enhanced connectivity and new experiences and new MICE privileges of the Hong Kong Rewards! programme, all designed to lure incentive planners for choosing Hong Kong as their next destination. “India is one of the key strategic source markets for MICE arrivals into Hong Kong with a high growth potential in Meetings and Incentive group travel. We are aiming for a high single digit growth in 2019,” he revealed and added that Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK) announced a further upgrade to the 2019/2020 Hong Kong Rewards! Programme recently. “This year, the programme includes 51 hotels offering complimentary cocktail receptions, complimentary meals at some of Hong Kong’s top attractions, as well as shopping vouchers and exclusive access,” he informed.