Hong Kong Tourism Celebrates Year of the Rabbit

The Globus family of brand’s Stéphanie Bishop with Jorge Lee of the HKTB

This year's Lunar New Year is officially celebrated on Sunday 22JAN and if tradition and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, are correct, it’s going to be a pretty good year.

Daisy Leung of Huntington Travel with Royal Scenic’s Tracy Chan

To help kick off the celebrations, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Economic and Trade office invited some 120 travel agents and tour operators, airlines, trade partners and the media to attend a colourful evening at the Artscape Daniels Launchpad near Toronto’s waterfront on 19JAN.

2023 will be a year of the rabbit, signifying longevity, peace, prosperity and hope.  Not a bad combo!

And the news from Hong Kong is equally upbeat. “We are here to celebrate a night of renewal, optimism, prosperity and forming new friendships,” Jorge Lee, the HKTB’s Senior Manager of Marketing and PR told the crowd. “Hong Kong has lifted almost all travel restrictions and we are on the path of orderly re-opening.”

Mr. Hong Kong: Michael Lim

Michael Lim, Director - Canada, Central & South Americas at the tourist board shared what he’s most looking forward to on an upcoming trip to HKG. The legendary Peak Tram has been upgraded; new hotels include the Fullerton at Ocean Park, the Hari and AKI in Wan chai, and the famed Regent will be returning. During COVID, more restaurants actually opened than closed. And he’s looking forward to a round of golf – something you don’t always associate with the city famed for its teeming streets, fabulous markets and glittering skyscrapers.

The very entertaining lion dance

As well as enjoying treats including steamed bao (port buns), Sichuan wantons and chicken with vermicelli noodles, we were treated to an energetic lion dance and some dazzling wizardry of magician Louis Yan who managed to pour generous portions of water, white wine, red wine and orange juice - all from the same small teapot.

Emily Mo, Director of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

“We’re back up to 50% of our pre-COVID lift,” Marius Cartensen, head of Trade Sales/Eastern North America for Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific told Open Jaw. “We’ve got a weekly nonstop from YYZ, and 6 to 7 flights per week from YVR, all on our A350s.” Not surprisingly, VFR is leading the charge when it comes to recovery, though the student market is strong as well. And business travel is picking up.  

For more information, visit DiscoverHongKong.com. And Kung Hei Fat Choy – Happy New Year!

Martha Chapman

Columnist

An OJ columnist since 2006, Martha can often be seen On The Town covering industry events. Known to all in the biz, Martha has worked her entire career in travel, beginning as a teenaged hotel receptionist in Bermuda.

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