"Quality Travel—Your Choice"
－Hong Kong Financial Secretary Mr. Henry Tang Speaks at the Tourism Forum 2007
Chairman Shao, Distinguished Guests and Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. On behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion, I would like to offer my warmest congratulations and welcome to thisforum and for all of our guests fromoverseas and the Mainland of China. This Tourism Forum 2007 is a majorevent organised by the tourism sectorto celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong KongSpecial Administrative Region.
I am delighted to see so many of you, especially all of you from the Mainland andfrom overseas, to have taken the time to travel to Hong Kong and to attend the Tourism Forum this morning. We have a good mix of both executives and front-linepractitioners from a wide range of tourismrelated industries, both locally and internationally, including airlines,hoteliers, travel agents, retailers, restaurant operators, government representativesand tourism marketing bodies. With ourtheme “Quality Travel—Your Choice”, this forum represents a preciousopportunity for all of us to share ourvaluable experience and learn from each other how we may further enhance the qualityof our tourism industry.
Tourism has always been and will continue to be an important part of our economy. Lastyear, we received a record-breaking 25million visitors. Together they contributed nearly HK$120 billion to our economy.
The SAR Government has invested about HK$30 billion (US$3.8 billion) intourism projects in the past few years in order to enrich our visitors' experience. And together with our private sector, we will continue toinvest in tourism infrastructure in the years to come. These include our new flagship projects like a newcruise terminal and the redevelopment of Ocean Park which we are all very excited to see, as well as a chain of enhancement projects in local districts. The totalamount of investment reaches well over HK$10 billion.
Hong Kong is renowned as a shopping and dining paradise. Our Quality TourismServices (QTS) Scheme, operated by the Hong KongTourism Board, aims to provide our visitors with information on shops and restaurants thatoffer quality service. Indeed, participants of this scheme has (have) grown from about 1,000 retail anddining outlets in April, 2000, to more than 6,400 outlets today. They are very easilyrecognisable by their large “Q” on the front. So visit shops with “Q” and servicequality is guaranteed.
To stay ahead in the global competition, not only do we need new touristattractions and effective promotions,but we must also deliver professional, first-class and value-for-money service. Tourism is a people's business—I amsure you all know extremely well—so we must not underestimate the importance of wordof mouth. We must continue to be vigilant in maintaining the best quality of service and inprotecting our consumer rights. The key is to enhance tourists' access to information and provide ourtourists with an effective complaint handling mechanism.
To this end, the Hong Kong Consumer Council receives and investigates complaintsfrom tourists, and gives advice to themon smart consumption. Our law enforcement agencies also take swift enforcement actions against isolatedcases of fraud. I am glad that Hong Kong enjoys a good reputation of providingquality tourism service. According to visitors' satisfaction surveys conducted bythe Hong Kong Tourism Board in 2006, about 80% of visitors rated thehospitality and services of ourfront-line staff in the retail sector as above average.
This Forum offers an international platform for members of the industry to exchangeviews on quality tourism and servicesaffecting tourism development in this region. In addition to the keynotespeech by Chairman Shao which we are all looking forward to, the Forum willcover two key areas includinginfrastructure and software development in supporting quality travel and a case study on service quality of themainland outbound travel. With the quality input from our distinguished speakers from across the region,I believe this exchange of ideas and experiences will further enhance ourunderstanding of the issues and challenges that we are facing and what action is required to enhance the travelexperience of our visitors.
I wish… I'd like to wish all the participants a stimulating and rewardingexperience this Morning. And to ourdistinguished speakers and guests from overseas, may I wish you a very pleasant and fruitful stay in Hong Kong. Anddo put a dent in your credit card. Our economy will thank you. Thank you very much.