GTA has launched a new ‘Strategic Partnership Program’ in Hong Kong, working with 21 hotels in the city to help boost inbound tourism.
The initiative, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, will see the hotels work with GTA to sell their rooms to overseas travel agents. GTA said the programme was intended to “stimulate new tourism demand in light of the drastic fall in tourist arrival numbers from the first half of 2015”.
According to data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the city suffered an 8.4% decline in overnight tourism expenditure in the first half of 2015, mainly due to a drop in arrivals from mainland China.
To alleviate this, GTA’s campaign will target international source markets including Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Pacific region and Middle East.
“The programme seeks to stimulate new tourism demand by focusing on providing value-add services for hotel guests and showcasing some hidden gems: extraordinary places and iconic events and cultural festivals of Hong Kong, creating more awareness of the destination and highlighting what Hong Kong has to offer beyond shopping and dining,” explained GTA’s head of market development & strategic partnerships, Cyndi Ng.
GTA will produce training videos and other educational materials as part of the initiative to promote Hong Kong among travel sellers. It will also aim to educate travel agents through a series of trade workshops.
The 21 hotels that will be promotion under the programme include those operated by Dorsett Hospitality, Regal Hotels, Accor and Starwood, plus the Pentahotel Kowloon, The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Royal Garden, East Hong Kong and Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
“GTA is the supplier of choice for travel agents around the world. Every day, we help our clients develop packages and travel products that are well suited to a wide range of traveller’s needs,” said Daryl Lee, GTA’s regional vice president of sales & marketing for Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa. “Hong Kong is a key destination for GTA in Asia. We see the Strategic Partnership Program as a strong component to present our best hotel partners to the widest and largest number of travel agents worldwide.”
This is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by GTA to help Asian destinations recover from tourism downturns; the company also partnered with authorities in Thailand after the Bangkok bomb and with Korea following the MERS outbreak.