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Hong Kong Launches Campaign to Reassure U.S. Travelers.

Business Editors/Travel Writers

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 12, 2003

Signals from the U.S. State Department, WHO and CDC Reassure Travelers Hong Kong is Open for Business as Asia's Commercial Hub

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government today announced the launch of a comprehensive public outreach campaign in the United States to reassure travelers that Hong Kong is safe, that it has successfully contained SARS and that careful and ongoing measures are in place to protect public health. On Tuesday, June 10, the U.S. State Department cancelled its travel warning to Hong Kong. This ad campaign builds on this announcement and follows the recent decisions of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to remove their Hong Kong travel advisories.

"It is important to begin to rebuild the trust and confidence of global travelers from the US that SARS is contained in Hong Kong," said Jacqueline Willis, Hong Kong Commissioner to the U.S. "We understand travelers' concerns, which is why we are moving with caution and deliberation with our outreach effort, knowing that we must demonstrate our commitment to public health before regaining the confidence of travelers."

The first phase of the campaign is part of Hong Kong's economic re-launch program, including a marketing campaign, to further reassure travelers that life and commerce in that city are rapidly returning to normal. The program also seeks to reassure business and leisure travelers that they can continue to rely on Hong Kong to be open for business as Asia's commercial hub.

The launch of the first phase this week will focus on business travelers by building greater awareness of the CDC and WHO actions. Ads highlighting the removal of the travel advisories will begin appearing this week in major U.S. newspapers, and a similar effort is underway in targeted markets in Europe and Asia.

The content of the ads will focus on the WHO and the CDC lifting their travel advisories to Hong Kong, and thereby attesting that it is once again safe to travel to Hong Kong. The ads also include the address of a new website, www.HKLookingAhead.gov.hk, that has been developed to keep visitors updated on Hong Kong's economic re-launch initiatives.

"With the lifting of their advisories, the WHO and CDC are sending a reassuring signal that Hong Kong is getting back to normal." continued Willis. "Hong Kong is Asia's world city, the region's commercial, cultural and transportation hub. The invitation is out for Americans and the world to visit again."

The campaign is a joint effort of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council for global reassurance and travel promotion activities.

The ads will run on Thursday, June 12 in leading U.S. daily newspapers in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Seattle and Chicago.

Editors Note: Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Jacqueline Willis, is available for press interviews; please call Daniel McAtee at 202/238-6360 (office) or 202/256-8140 (mobile) to arrange an interview. Additionally, to see the advertising, please go to the "U.S. Lifts SARS Advisory on Travel to Hong Kong" link on www.hongkong.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:9HONG
Date:Jun 12, 2003
Words:540
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