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Tourism Board to Go on Publicity Blitz
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The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is bucking up to launch new publicity campaigns on the mainland.

To lure more travellers, both individual and tour groups, the HKTB will for the first time publish a 60-page travel and shopping guide to Hong Kong and will provide the mainland media with written and electronic promotional materials.

"The guide will offer comprehensive information on major attractions and tips for shopping in Hong Kong," said Lambert Chan, General Manager, Destination Marketing of the HKTB. "It should encourage more mainlanders to visit Hong Kong as individual travellers."

Travel programmes about Hong Kong, produced by HKTB and TV stations on the mainland, will highlight special events and shopping areas in the city. Editorial articles about Hong Kong's attractions will also appear in newspapers in major cities.

While Chan declined to give an estimate of number of mainland tourists in the coming season, he admitted that the sector needs to resolve the long-standing issue of "zero-fee tour".

"We've joined hands with the National Tourism Administration to promote 'Honest & Quality Travel'," said Chan.

"The most important thing is to strengthen education for mainland tourists, so that they can make wiser choices about joining tour groups," he said.

Chan expressed hope that there would not be any repeat of the recent cases of misconduct involving the Qinghai tour group, as the HKTB is working hard to entice more mainlanders to make it the major short-haul market for Hong Kong's tourism.

The HKTB announced yesterday that it would hold Hong Kong WinterFest-marking the finale of 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year-from 24 November to January 1, 2007 to attract more mainlanders and visitors from other parts of Asia during Christmas in Hong Kong.

"There're many factors affecting the influx of tourists at any time, which is why we are launching a series of new activities and events in WinterFest," said Chan. "We hope to reinforce Hong Kong as the travel destination in Asia at a time of festivities and joy."

Among the highlights of this year's WinterFest, there will be new elements in the Santa's Town in Statue Square, including photo backdrops of Bruce Lee from Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, and a Skyrail cabin from Ngong Ping 360.

Besides, internationally acclaimed violinist David Garrett will perform and a Korean troupe will entertain audience with breakdance.

"The HKTB has also set up a mini-site to introduce the hottest deals and offers from local merchants. Close to 3,400 merchant outlets and restaurants have agreed to offer visitors shopping and dining privileges," said Chan.

(China Daily November 14, 2006)

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