This November, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is bringing back its signature event – the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, after first being cancelled in 2019 and two online-offline formats during the pandemic, despite lack of international visitors and outdoor dining ban.
With about 700 participating restaurants and bars, the Festival this year has prepared a smorgasbord of drinks and dining promotions that invite food and wine lovers to “Taste Around Town”. The HKTB also launched targeted events hoping to draw in visitors from Greater Bay Area and overseas.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the HKTB has unveiled a slew of sweeteners to lure in diners and revelers. For the first time, it is offering the public a total of 50,000 free Wine & Dine Festival e-coupons via the e-platform on the Discover Hong Kong website, hoping to “enhance the atmosphere of the local dining scene and provide support to the trade,” says the tourism board.
Hong Kong’s dining industry has suffered three years of covid restrictions that limited dining numbers, and at times dinner service ban, causing thousands to close including some of the city’s most iconic restaurants including Mido Cafe, Lin Heung Tea House, Tung Po Kitchen.
Despite not being allowed to dine in restaurants and bars in the first 3 days, the organizer is bent on using the event to draw in international visitors. HKTB Executive Director Mr Dane Cheng said, “Using Hong Kong’s quintessential flavors and mesmerizing harbor views as inspiration, we have invited many well-known restaurants and bars to come up with innovative gourmet experiences for the event, including the thematic “Creative Cocktails Citywide” and “Wine on the Waterfront” programs. In addition to delighting locals and visitors with unique experiences, we will be showcasing Hong Kong’s gastronomic treasures to the world with a view to encouraging travelers to plan their long-awaited Hong Kong trip to enjoy the tastes they have been missing.”
For bankers and financiers flying into Hong Kong for the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, the tourism board also reserved a number of Wine & Dine Festival e-coupons as gifts for the participants of the Summit and Wine & Dine Festival. :So that they can also have a taste of our city’s culinary offerings during their stay,” adds Cheung.
The theme of this year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival is “Taste Around Town”. In collaboration with the F&B sector, the HKTB will present three surprises to the local public and visitors. Combining Hong Kong’s delectable food and wine selection and breath-taking views, the event invites gourmets to “Drink Around Town” and “Dine Around Town”.
The “Creative Cocktails Citywide” promotion, launched for the first time, will involve over 210 restaurants and bars, including many that boast international awards or award-winning mixologists to come up with new cocktails, with many of the new creations incorporating local ingredients or flavors.
Hong Kong’s beautiful harbour views are world-renowned. In this year’s Wine & Dine Festival, the HKTB has invited about 160 restaurants that offer different views of the harbor to join the “Wine on the Waterfront” promotion and provide exclusive set menus for only HK$150 each, so that the public can relish international cuisines and spectacular views of the Harbor at the same time.
The HKTB is also teaming up with over 300 popular restaurants on the “Dine Around Town” promotion to provide foodies with special dining experiences – from omakase with traditional Chinese cuisines to green tasting experiences, and from breakfast to dinner. Together with exciting city-wide happenings like “Sip and Savour in LKF” and “Argentina Wine & Dine Tour 2022”, the HKTB calls on everyone to wine and dine all day, all around town.
The tourism board says it will also roll out contents on social media to attract visitors to the city. “By promoting the ever-vibrant dining scene of Hong Kong, the HKTB strives to encourage travelers to make plans for a trip to the culinary capital in the near future”, it says.
In particular, the HKTB will run the “New Delights, Shared Tastes” promotion in the Mainland market in cooperation with media based in the Greater Bay Area. Under the promotion, Hong Kong influencers will explore the latest happenings in the city’s dining scene with Mainland visitors. Meanwhile, catering to the taste of Mainland consumers, creative short videos on dining and wining will be produced and distributed on various social media platforms.
But for anyone who is able to make it to Hong Kong from mainland China, they will face 10-day quarantine or worse yet lockdowns as daily cases climb on the mainland. International visitors coming to Hong Kong will not be allowed to dine in at restaurants and bars for the first three days and have to go through daily PCR test.
Will visitors come? Seems like a great price to pay.