Tourists from the Chinese mainland have thier photos taken on The Avenue of Stars next to the handprints of actress Michelle Yeoh in Hong Kong on March 13, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong has been courting Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh and other celebrities to help promote the city as a travel destination around the world, according to a spokesperson for the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
The spokesperson made the statement as the city gears up for a gradual revival of its tourism sector, and to strengthen its position as the “Event Capital of Asia”, with 28.8 million tourists expected to visit this year.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu launched the global promotional campaign “Hello Hong Kong” last month and the SAR government has proposed to allocate to the HKTB HK$820 million ($104.5 million) in additional funding
“Maintaining exposure is one of the HKTB’s key initiatives in promoting Hong Kong globally. We have been trying to invite different celebrities, including Michelle Yeoh, the Oscar winner, hoping to help promote Hong Kong to the world,” the spokesperson said.
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Yeoh, who started her acting career with a series of Hong Kong action movies in the 1980s, highlighted her connection with the city when she won the Best Actress award at the 95th Academy Awards earlier this month for her performance in the comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once.
HKTB will also invite renowned directors and actors from East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, including South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, to visit Hong Kong to look for inspiration for shooting microfilms and share their experiences through film-themed programs.
The board will actively arrange Korean dramas and variety shows to film in the city as travel returns to normal to attract their fans to make “pilgrimages” to Hong Kong's set locations.
In the first quarter of this year, the HKTB has already invited 700 trade and media representatives, artists and celebrities, key opinion leaders and “Hong Kong Super Fans” from the Chinese mainland, Southeast Asia and Europe to visit the city.
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Targeting the mainland markets, HKTB also confirmed the production of a new media program with CCTV to bring famous news anchors to Hong Kong to introduce its unique culture and the new experiences it offers.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu launched the global promotional campaign “Hello Hong Kong” last month and the SAR government has proposed to allocate to the board HK$820 million ($104.5 million) in additional funding, including HK$655 million earmarked for 2023-24 and HK$165 million for the next three years to revive the tourism industry.
In February, Hong Kong saw its tourist arrivals exceed 1 million for the first time since the pandemic began three years ago.
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