The Spanish Tourist Office has stepped up marketing efforts in Hong Kong, with a market research now underway to better understand what Hong Kong travellers want out of their post-lockdown holidays.

Speaking to TTG Asia during a recent trade partners engagement event, jointly hosted by the NTO and Barcelona Turisme, Ana Maria Lafuente Córdoba, counsellor for tourism South China, Hong Kong and Macau, said the study will also look into travel patterns.

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The Spanish tourism delegation is working to rebuild Hong Kong travel interest in the destination

The Spanish Tourist Office is also investing in a training guide to educate Spanish travel trade partners on the Hong Kong source market, with topics such as marketing how-to and product preferences. Furthermore, content on its online training platform, Spain Specialist Programe, has been renewed, and fam trips are in the works.

Córdoba revealed that fam trips for the press and travel agents are being planned for April/May and September/October respectively.

The NTO hopes to inspire longer stays among Hong Kong travellers this year with mono-destination products, and the team will return to Hong Kong next month to help agents in the market develop new itineraries.

Barcelona Turisme has crafted ten themes to widen its marketing promotion and present the popular destination as a place with great variety. Besides nature, gastronomy and sports, which Barcelona is already known for, the tourism office is now dangling creativity, talent and innovation angles.

It is also pushing scientific tourism, luring travellers with seven scientific routes and visits to 46 research and technological development centres.

Mateo Asensio, promotion director with Barcelona Turisme, shared that the office has invested in digitalised marketing for the Hong Kong market. WeChat and Tiktok accounts have been established to convey Barcelona’s best.

It is also moving away from roadshows involving hundreds of attendees to focused gatherings that spotlight tailor-made products.

Asensio further shared that more public or private partnerships are being forged for destination promotions. Currently, Barcelona Turisme is collaborating with Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Turkish Airlines; and Barcelona Turisme for activations in Hong Kong.

But for Spain to claw back more Hong Kong travellers, air connectivity has to improve. Spain and Hong Kong are now only joined by a twice-weekly Hong Kong-Madrid service operated by Cathay Pacific, with a third service to come in July. There are still no direct flights between Hong Kong and Barcelona.

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