Hong Kong is set to inject HK$50 million to support its promotional work, as the city’s financial minister unveiled a new “Happy Hong Kong” campaign to offer gourmet and amusement experiences to the city’s residents.

Paul Chan budget 2023 Legislative Council
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan in the Legislative Council on February 22, 2023. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced on Wednesday that a promotional task force established last month would be granted HK$50 million to steer government departments and related units to make “concerted efforts to promote Hong Kong’s new advantages.”

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Speaking as he presented the 2023-23 Budget, the first set of estimates under Chief Executive John Lee’s administration, Chan said the “distinguished personalities” from different sectors on the task force aimed to find “novel ways” to promote the city to the world.

‘Happy Hong Kong’

Separately, the government will organise a series of events under its new Happy Hong Kong campaign, which targets the general public. Activities include a “gourmet marketplace” and “large-scale food fairs,” the financial chief said, without mentioning the budget for the campaign.

“The campaign will focus on activities related to gourmet experiences, fun amusements and exciting ambience,” he told the Legislative Council.

According to budget estimates, the Happy Hong Kong campaign is estimated to cost HK$20 million. That figure is separate from the budget for the global “Hello Hong Kong” campaign launched earlier this month and the HK$50 million set aside for the promotional taskforce.

Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival in 2018
The Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival in 2018. Photo: GovHK.

The financial chief on Wednesday also announced HK$100 million for Hong Kong to attract and stage more “mega events with significant visitor appeal and tourism promotional effect.”

The Hong Kong Tourism Board will also spend more than HK$250 million to continue organising or helping promote events such as the new Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival, the Hong Kong Sevens and Art Basel.

Hello Hong Kong was launched in a bid to reboot tourism after three years of tough Covid-19 restrictions. The chief executive starred in one of the promotional videos, calling Hong Kong “a world city like no other” and extended his welcome to tourists.

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The HK$2 billion campaign included giving away 500,000 plane tickets to overseas visitors by the Airport Authority Hong Kong. Three carriers will organise activities such as lucky draws, buy-one-get-one-free offers and games for the tickets to be won from March, with an aim to complete distribution within six months.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board will also hand out “Hong Kong Goodies” to 1 million inbound visitors, offering them shopping and dining privileges.

The 2023 Budget in full:

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budget summary 2023

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Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.