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 March 20, 2001
Hong Kong Tourism Board Moving Forward With Knowledge-Based Management

 The reconstitution of the Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) as the Hong Kong Tourism Board will provide the organisation with a more structured and targeted approach for attracting visitors to Hong Kong than ever before, utilising the methodology of a "knowledge economy", new Executive Director Ms Clara Chong has pledged.

The HKTA announced today (20 March) that the name change would take effect from Sunday 1 April, following the passage of the Hong Kong Tourist Association (Amendment) Bill 2001 through the Legislative Council on 14 March and subsequent gazettal of the amended Hong Kong Tourist Association Ordinance.

At a press conference today, Hong Kong Tourism Board Chairman The Hon Mrs Selina Chow, JP, said the HKTA's reconstitution as the Hong Kong Tourism Board did not constitute any "upgrade", as some would describe it. Rather, it has helped the organisation reach the goal of making tourism the business of all Hong Kong people.

She said the major change was that the Hong Kong Tourism Board would no longer be an Association of Members but a body that could truly represent Hong Kong's tourism-related industries in their entirety. "Our Board of Management can be expanded to up to 20 members, to better represent the interests of this diverse industry," she said. "The second change refers to our scope of service and whom we serve. The cessation of the Membership system allows us to align the scope of services. It illustrates well to the public that we are here to serve the entire travel industry, the related service industries, and the entire community."

Ms Chong - who took up her responsibilities yesterday (19 March) - emphasised that the reconstitution involved far more than simply a change of name as it gave the Hong Kong Tourism Board a much clearer structure and mission.

"It's clear from the steady growth in arrivals that the HKTA has done a very good job in the past, but the global tourism business is getting more competitive all the time and we have to excel. As the Hong Kong Tourism Board, we are ready to set sail to captivate the world using the latest methodology of a "knowledge economyí," she stressed.

Ms Chong - who brings to her new appointment a strong track record in global consumer marketing - said that these changes meant making full use of what she terms ìinformation-based decisioning' to ensure that the Hong Kong Tourism Boardís marketing activities were strongly results-driven.

"We must understand our customers' needs and expectations and those factors that drive their decision-making process," said Ms Chong.

"There also has to be analysis of macro and micro trends - in our case tourism trends - in order to take critical assessment of our strengths and weaknesses in comparison with our competitors. The third element is combining this analysis with correlating market intelligence from our travel trade partners, based on which we can draw up cost-effective and timely strategies."

Mrs Chow confirmed at the press conference that the emblem to represent the Hong Kong Tourism Board would remain the red junk. "Indeed, it took us rather long and very careful deliberation and widespread consultation. What was confirmed was that it would take years - perhaps another 40 years - to obtain a similar level of recognition from any new symbol. In the end, we made the decision to retain this image, albeit a revamped one," she said.

"With two designs, one retaining the essence of the old emblem and the other incorporating a cityscape, we canvassed the views of Government officials, legislators, the travel trade, opinion leaders, visitors and the community at large. In total, we surveyed 1,248 people. Of these, 852 respondents, about 70%, opted for the design which we finally adopted as the new emblem of the Hong Kong Tourism Board," she said.