CEO Comments
Capitalizing on Hong Kong’s Soft Power

It is wonderful to see Hong Kong bustling again, especially the tourist-packed promenades on both sides of Victoria Harbour. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), the city will welcome a total of 46 million tourists this year. While this is 35% higher than the 2023 numbers, it is only about 70% of 65 million visitors in 2018.

As one of the city’s four pillar industries, tourism is a steady driving force of economic growth. Although Covid restrictions were removed in early 2023, Hong Kong is still struggling to attract visitors. While Mainland Chinese tourist numbers are rising, international and long-haul arrivals remain sluggish. Of the nearly 4 million visitors this year, 73.23% were from China. 

The role of tourism cannot be discounted in the soft power stakes. It offers overseas visitors a first-hand understanding of the city, encouraging them to share good stories about our culture and unique attractions. This in turn burnishes the “Hong Kong brand” on the world stage. Chief Executive John Lee has vowed to attract more high-value-added visitors by stimulating spending and promoting high-quality development of the sector. To that end, Financial Secretary Paul Chan earmarked an additional $1.09 billion for the sector in his 2024-25 Budget.

The injection is supporting over 200 mega events planned for the year. The diverse list includes art festivals, night markets, sports tournaments, consumer fairs, monthly fireworks displays, and more. A good example is the recent drone show held at Victoria Harbour. Thousands of tourists and residents flocked to the waterfront to watch the night sky light up as 1,000 drones created spectacular patterns featuring popular Hong Kong cultural images, from dancing lions to flags and flowers. The event also commemorated the birthday of Buddha and Hong Kong’s Cheung Chau Bun Festival. 

The authorities are also expected to unveil the latest tourism blueprint in the second half of the year. Besides revitalizing the cruise economy and enhancing current offerings, a range of innovative travel products will also be introduced. Using Hong Kong’s role as a super-connector to the Mainland and the world, multi-destination tourism with Greater Bay Area cities is also being promoted in countries such as Thailand. Meanwhile, the Mainland has expanded its Individual Visit Scheme, allowing greater flexibility for citizens wanting to visit Hong Kong without joining a group tour.

In the end, seeing is believing. Offering visitors unparalleled experiences of all that Hong Kong has to offer is the best way to spread the word about our fantastic city. To achieve this, a targeted approach to marketing our advantages is crucial if Hong Kong wants to position itself as the “Events Capital of Asia” and the “World’s Meeting Place.”


Patrick Yeung
[email protected]


Over the years, we have helped businesses overcome adversity and thrive locally, in Mainland China and internationally.

If you want to take advantage of our network,insights and services, contact us today.