The “Happy Hong Kong” campaign will create a synergy effect with the consumption vouchers handed out earlier this month to galvanise residents to spend more and help revive the economy following the pandemic slump, the city’s leader has predicted.
At the launch ceremony for the promotion push on Friday, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said he hoped the campaign would help put a smile on everyone’s face and ensure they would dine, play and spend happily in Hong Kong.
“I hope every resident will eat happily, play happily and buy happily to stimulate Hong Kong’s retail and catering sectors and other pertinent industries,” he said.
“I hope, with Hong Kong’s vitality and vibrancy and the happy smiling faces of every Hongkonger, we can tell the story of Hong Kong to the world well.”
Lee said he expected the campaign would create a synergy effect with the HK$3,000 (US$382) consumption vouchers handed out to residents earlier this month and would kick-start a spending spree in the city.
The 10-month “Happy Hong Kong” campaign will start with Cinema Day 2023 on Saturday. Movie lovers can watch a film for just HK$30.
There will be a gourmet bazaar at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday and Sunday, where visitors can enjoy free food samples, culinary demonstrations and musical performances.
A check by the Post on Friday found that most tickets had been sold out at major cinema chains, including MCL, Broadway and Golden Harvest.
A check of online marketplace Carousell showed people reselling discounted film tickets for HK$40 to HK$100, while some were handing out food bazaar tickets for free.
Other campaign activities include two food fairs in Sha Tin and Kwun Tong, farmer’s markets and a music carnival at the Victoria Harbour promenade.
At the same event, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po expressed optimism about the strength of local consumption.
“Our economic recovery is still in its infancy. Exports in the first two months weren’t ideal. Our consumption was very good and able to offset the downward pressure on the economy,” he said. Exports shrank 8.8 per cent year on year in February, 36.7 per cent in January and 28.9 per cent last December.
Chan earlier cautioned that the HK$20 million “Happy Hong Kong” campaign might have a minimal impact on the city’s gross domestic product, compared with the 0.6 per cent increase expected from the HK$30 billion consumption voucher initiative.
During the opening ceremony, Chan, Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun and Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak Mei-kuen also tried their hand at making ramen with apprentice cooks from the Chinese Culinary Institute.
The MTR Corporation announced on Friday that it would support the “Happy Hong Kong” campaign with a lucky draw via its mobile app in June.
It will give away 150,000 prizes worth more than HK$5.6 million, including MTR annual passes, domestic ride tickets, Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car tickets and station shop coupons.
It added that MTR malls would offer “Happy Together” shopping rewards from May to August, giving away shopping, dining and parking vouchers worth more than HK$40 million.