The Hong Kong Tourism Board is planning to launch a "Food & Wine Year" to attract tourists from the Chinese mainland and maintain its tourism increase.
HKTB predicts that in 2009 the number of tourists from the mainland will increase by about 4.1% to approximately 17.55 million. It says in the new year it will reinforce its promotions on the mainland and promote its products in 42 Chinese cities instead of the previously planned 40. In addition, it will also spend about HKD320 million on promotions in 18 major tourist source regions with the focus on the Chinese mainland, South Korea, and the Philippines.
HKTB says it will make full use of Hong Kong's expertese in food and the SAR government's preferential policy for wine taxation to create a unique tourism image for Hong Kong and enhance tourists' interest to the city.
In addition, HKTB will launch various new travel products to meet different tourists' profiles, e.g. family tourists, young tourists, and the silver haired.
In 2008, Hong Kong received more than 29.5 million tourists, which was an increase of 4.7% over the previous year, and the Chinese mainland has become the major source of tourists for Hong Kong with about 16.9 million people visiting the region.