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Passers-by on Taicang Road spellbound by statues of characters from Ocean Park Hong Kong Wednesday. (Photo: Global Times)

BEIJING, June 6 -- Hong Kong is upping the ante in its attempts to market the Special Administrative Region as a tourist destination for Shanghai visitors and locals with a raft of promotions.

"Expo visitors can enjoy 100 yuan ($14.64) to 200 yuan discounts from Hong Kong tour packages when they present their Expo tickets at three major travel agencies, namely Shanghai China International Travel Service, Jinjiang Travel, and Shanghai China Travel Serivce," Leo Ni, public relations officer for the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) told the Global Times Wednesday.

The HKTB also said in a press release that discounts and other offers for shopping and dining at over 40 Hong Kong businesses will be available in the Hong Kong Pavilion and the Urban Best Practices Area at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The effort to attract visitors to Hong Kong is not just confined to the Expo Park. The HKTB announced on May 31 that it will invest around HK$4 million ($513,164) to stage its "Now Shanghai! Next Hong Kong!" promotional activities in Shanghai. Plans include transforming the commercial area of Xintiandi into a "mini Hong Kong" and converting Huaihai Road Middle to a "Hong Kong street" to encourage global tourists who are visiting the World Expo to add Hong Kong to their itineraries.

Ni added that a train on Metro Line 2 will be redecorated to resemble Hong Kong's Airport Express.

The HKTB said that, as of May 25, people from the Chinese mainland had accounted for 8.5 million of the 13.7 million visitors to Hong Kong so far this year. The number of visitors to Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland as of May 25 was up 22.7 percent on the same period last year. For June to August, HKTB expects the figure to show a 33 percent year-on-year rise.

The HKTB plans to invest a total of HK$15 million ($1.92 million) in promotion on the Chinese mainland this year, including the Shanghai budget.

A similar promotion was staged in Shanghai in 2007, transforming part of Huaihai Road Middle to resemble Hong Kong to mark the 10th anniversary of the Special Administrative Region's return to China.

(Source: Global Times)


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