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Budget Speech

Support Tourism

48. The epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to the local tourism industry, bringing it to a standstill.  Apart from the financial support of nearly $2.6 billion that has already been provided for the tourism industry, I will further earmark a total of $934 million to enhance tourism resources, of which $169 million will be used to continue to take forward local cultural, heritage and creative tourism projects, such as the Yim Tin Tsai Arts Festival and the City in Time.  We will continue to improve the facilities along hiking trails to develop more green tourism resources.  The purpose is to offer leisure and travel experience with rich historical and cultural elements to both locals and visitors.

49. I will also earmark $765 million to support the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) in reviving our tourism industry.  The HKTB has launched promotional programmes such as "Holiday at Home" and "360 Hong Kong Moments" with a view to enhancing local ambience and consumption as well as maintaining the promotion and exposure of Hong Kong in visitor source markets.  Upon gradual resumption of cross-boundary travel, the HKTB will roll out promotional offers to attract visitors through the "Open House Hong Kong" platform.  The HKTB is also conducting a comprehensive review of the positioning of Hong Kong's tourism in the long run in response to the "new normal" after the epidemic with a view to formulating appropriate strategies to spur the recovery of the tourism industry.

50. Provided that public health can be safeguarded, the Government will consider relaxing restrictions on group gatherings in relation to local group tours again to allow room for business operation for the tourism industry.  The Government will discuss and work out arrangements regarding Air Travel Bubble with places that have close economic and trade relations with Hong Kong and where the epidemic situation is relatively stable.

51. Apart from the above initiatives, additional resources will also be allocated to enhance country parks, recreational facilities, harbourfront, etc.  These enhancements will improve people's quality of life when the epidemic is over and may also appeal to our visitors.  I will provide more details in the ensuing parts of my speech.



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