Hong Kong holds many firsts for Filipinos, from being their first international travel destination, to their first Disneyland and winter experiences. The city is a collection of many shared and wonderful memories for Filipinos, and it is in the city that many find familiarity and comfort that they consider Hong Kong a second home.
As on-ground activities were prohibited during the pandemic, HKTB had to shift virtually to make up for what cannot be done physically. Hence the “100 Reasons to Miss Hong Kong” campaign was born with the aim to bring Hong Kong to Filipinos in the comfort of their homes. This allowed Filipinos to reminisce on the different aspects they’ve come to love about Hong Kong, be it food, shopping, great outdoors, or nightlife.
As one of the biggest social media users in the world, the Philippines gave rise to a commercialized influencer culture, and nowhere have they been more prevalent during the pandemic. This was one major component of the campaign where HKTB collaborated and harnessed the power of social media influencers to promote Hong Kong’s soft power from Cantonese lessons with Richard Juan and a cook-off with Solenn Heussaff and Nico Bolzico, to creating AR filters of iconic Hong Kong locations and an online mystery hunt partnership with Mystery Manila.
Its goal was to create lasting impressions on its target audience through a series of non-conventional marketing activities on today’s most popular social media platforms.
In addition to this, HKTB has been recruiting social media influencers who have a close affinity to Hong Kong to join its “Hong Kong Super Fans” program as part of its recovery plan post-COVID-19—some of whom have also supported the 100 Reasons to Miss Hong Kong and took part in activities hosted by HKTB.
“I had a lot of fun working on this campaign because the pre-production really took me down memory lane to think about all the things that I used to do when I was in Hong Kong. It made me realize that I really used to take Hong Kong for granted—in the sense that it's always just one two-hour flight away”, shared Filipino Hong Kong Super Fan Richard Juan, who hosted Cantonese lessons on his social media platforms.
It was difficult to traverse through new avenues when promoting a destination, especially when experiencing the city is best done physically. Nonetheless, HKTB managed to quickly adapt to the “new norm” of marketing through one-of-a-kind marketing activations through today’s popular social media platforms, allowing Hong Kong to be relived repeatedly during the height of the pandemic.
Now that the world is coming out of the pandemic and leisure travel has slowly resumed, the Hong Kong Tourism Board will continue to create impactful campaigns digitally and physically to strengthen the bond between Filipinos and Hong Kong. During the past 2 years, the city has undergone a bit of a transformation beginning with West Kowloon, a new vibrant cultural quarter located on a dramatic harbor-front site in the heart of Hong Kong.
M+ is a museum of visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong
West Kowloon neighborhood has “art lover” written all over it. Art buffs will go gaga over the Xiqu Centre, Freespace and the new M+ museum, which showcases visual culture encompassing visual art, design and architecture, and moving images. Along with the Hong Kong Palace Museum which will open in July 2022, the West Kowloon neighborhood is set to be the premier arts and culture hub of the region.
Rainbow Rush attraction at Water World, Ocean Park
Filipino’s favorite attractions have also undergone some facelift. At Hong Kong Disneyland, a new castle featuring 12 towers was built atop the existing Sleeping Beauty castle to honor different princesses, queens, and heroine. A short MTR ride away at Ocean Park, the new Water World theme park promises a splashing good time for the entire family with 27 indoor and outdoor attractions for a never-ending adventure.
Aside from these new offerings, Filipinos can always count on Hong Kong for comfort and familiarity as the city will always and forever be their second home.