Hong Kong travel agencies are preparing for the return of tourism
The extension of restrictions on movement in and out of Hong Kong has not stopped travel agencies from making preparations for the day when tourism can finally return, while Covid-19 continues to stifle the industry.
Hong Thai Travel Services is already offering 20 per cent discounts for its “early bird packages” starting from September to the first quarter of 2021, to far-flung destinations such as Dubai and Slovenia.
“We hope to use more attractive prices to get people to make bookings at an earlier date,” said Cherie Fong, Hong Thai’s spokeswoman. “We’re stepping up promotions so that when the borders start opening up, we’ll be able to do business again and improve the situation in the industry.”
The Hong Kong government on Tuesday said the legal framework for compulsory quarantine would be extended until July 7 for travellers from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, and September 18 for arrivals from elsewhere. The indefinite ban on non-residents flying into Hong Kong from abroad would also continue.
The relaxation of border controls and 14-day quarantine measures would be the trigger for the revival of the industry in Hong Kong, said Lily Agonoy, managing director of Jebsen Holidays.
“Right now we’re not allowing any foreigners into Hong Kong. If the outbreak comes under control, business will slowly come back to the tourism industry,” said Agonoy.
The travel agency has been making plans to partner with passenger ferry services and tourist attraction operators in both cities to offer short term travel packages for Hong Kong and Macau travellers, once borders between the two cities open up again.