Source text - English MARKET OVERVIEW
Mainland China’s robust economy and the increasing purchasing power of the growing middle class combined to stimulate further demand for outbound travel in 2006. The convenience of the IVS, ease of transport and improved economic circumstances also stimulated rapid growth in short-duration “consumption” visits for shopping, dining and entertainment from nearby cities.
There were some challenges. Hong Kong as a destination faced intensifying competition from the growth in direct international air services to and from Mainland cities and the increasing number of countries granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) for outbound travel. There was also some lingering impact on consumer confidence from the recurring problem arising from “low-fare” tours from Mainland China.
To encourage the supply of quality products by operators and travel agents, HKTB has set up designated counters for “Quality & Honest Hong Kong Tours” in key travel agency outlets in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen since the last quarter of 2006 and extended the scheme to Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou in early 2007. These Quality & Honest Hong Kong Tour itineraries offered freedom of shopping with absolutely no pressure on visitors to do designated shopping or to join self-paid activities. With the support from its Mainland counterparts, the HKTB launched a series of media, trade and online promotions, and stepped up consumer education and publicity for these tours in the Mainland.
At the same time, the HKTB leveraged on the rapid expansion of internet usage in Mainland China to stimulate direct travel booking. The success of the travel portals such as Ctrip.com and eLong.com along with newcomer Mangocity.com contributed to double-digit growth in internet transaction sales.
Translation - Chinese 市場概覽