Speech by SCST at celebration of Hong Kong's achievement in World's 50 Best Hotels 2023 List (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung, at the celebration of Hong Kong's achievement in the World's 50 Best Hotels 2023 List today (October 24):
Sonia (Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group, Ms Sonia Cheng), Tim (Chief Executive of Swire Properties, Mr Tim Blackburn), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to join you all tonight celebrating the achievements of our city's outstanding hotels. May I first extend my heartfelt congratulations to Rosewood Hong Kong and The Upper House for making the top five of the inaugural World's 50 Best Hotels in 2023.
     Having two hotels from Hong Kong not just on the list but top on the list speaks volumes of the professionalism of our hospitality industry. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the entire hotel industry. It is all your dedicated efforts which make our hotel industry strong, and your passion and commitment which contribute to Hong Kong's success.  
     Following the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the rest of the world earlier this year, the industry has been heading towards recovery at full speed. The arrival of visitors have increased from the first quarter of 4.4 million to 8.5 million and 10.4 million in the second and third quarters respectively. During the recent National Day Golden Week, we received about 1.1 million Mainland visitors. The daily average was around 140 000, returning to about 70 per cent of the pre-pandemic level. On National Day alone, Hong Kong received about 180 000 Mainland visitors, the highest daily figure of the year.
     To keep this momentum going, the Government, together with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and also our partners in the tourism trade, is going to strengthen our promotional work. After the launch of "Hallo" Hong Kong Halloween last week and Hong Kong Cyclothon last Sunday, we will have the return of a full-scale Wine and Dine Festival later this week from Thursday to Sunday (October 26 - 29), and then a month-long Taste Around Town involving over 300 restaurants and bars. The Hong Kong WinterFest and New Year Countdown Celebrations will then take place at the end of the year to enhance the festive atmosphere.  
     Zooming into culture side, under this hall, we are running a special exhibition highlighting new discoveries at Sanxingdui in Sichuan Province. Next month, we will have the Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival again but in an expanded scale. What's more, Art Basel Hong Kong, the largest international art fair in Hong Kong, will return in March next year. 
     As you can see, many colourful events will be in town at different times of the year. Please do share these exciting happenings with your families and friends from near and far and invite them to come to Hong Kong to celebrate the festivities and experience our unique metropolitan glamour.
     Ladies and Gentleman, hospitality is the key to making our tourism industry thrive, and we need all parties to play a part. In equal weight, the well-being of the hotel industry must be built on an effective governance system of the city.
     The seventh District Council Ordinary Election will be held on December 10 while the nomination period would end by the 30th this month. I appeal to all competent patriots to seize the chance and come forward to join the DC Election and all voters to cast their vote on December 10.
     Last but not least, once again congratulations to Rosewood Hong Kong and The Upper House. Thank you and have a great evening.

Ends/Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:03