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 August 15, 2001
HKTB New Direction Focused On Efficiency & Marketing Effectiveness

 The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has announced its new organisational structure. The new direction is part of the tourism body's continued efforts to better equip itself to meet future challenges and the changing environment.

HKTB Chairman The Hon Mrs Selina Chow, JP, said that in today's competitive market the continuous drive for efficiency and productivity improvement is a means of survival. "As our role has been refined as being to market Hong Kong internationally, and to support the strategic development of the tourism industry domestically, the HKTB's vision is to create a world-class and efficient marketing body that lives up to its mandate to establish Hong Kong as a preferred tourism destination," Mrs Chow said.

HKTB Executive Director Ms Clara Chong said that after four months of thorough review and consultation with the HKTB Board, a new organisational structure has been decided. "This new structure was developed in light of the increased core focus on end-to-end marketing that can enable the HKTB's advancement in terms of its level of sophistication, innovation and targeted marketing practices for achieving maximum return with high level of efficiency," Ms Chong said.

In the new structure, high emphasis has been placed on the marketing functions that handle the different visitor interfaces for directly generating arrivals and spending, with reallocation of resources from the back end operations to these functions.

The key objectives of these end-to-end marketing functions are to improve marketing effectiveness and extend the mileage of the HKTB's subvention to generate the best results. At the same time, back-end operations are to improve productivity through streamlining, continuous process re-engineering, and automation.

"With the new structure, the HKTB will emerge as a more agile organisation, with excellent marketing capability, highly efficient and effective operations, professional and competent staff. It is a nurturing ground for the establishment of a results-driven, customer-centric, supportive and collaborative corporate culture," Mrs Chow added.

In pursuance of marketing excellence, and as a basis for streamlining and productivity enhancement, an in-depth resources review was undertaken in the reorganisation exercise. As a result, 27 staff members have been retrenched.

"Throughout the exercise, the leadership team made every effort to redeploy and transfer staff wherever possible, and to keep retrenchments to a minimum," said Ms Chong. "Unfortunately, however, some retrenchments could not be avoided, and we (August 15) reluctantly issued notices to 27 staff whose job functions have been eliminated. None of the staff employed in the Regional Offices are affected."

The HKTB has offered compensation packages to the 27 staff members who have been retrenched. Each staff member affected is being offered a separation payment calculated at a rate of two-thirds their current month's salary for each year of service. The highest amount is 12 months salary. Counselling and other support services are also offered to the 27 staff to assist them through the transition.

"Retrenchment is always a painful exercise, yet it is part of the reorganisation process we must embrace," said Ms Chong. "But what will emerge is a much more focused and efficient organisation able to focus on its core function of marketing Hong Kong around the world and generate the best results."