Hong Kong’s flagship marine park is looking to Indian tourists to diversify its visitor mix from mainland Chinese.
On Monday, Ocean Park appointed Nijhawan Group as its sales and marketing representative in India, according to Apple Daily.
The group will package the marine attraction to Indian tourists as a center for education and entertainment.
Managing director Ankush Nijhawan said Indian visitors to Ocean Park have more than tripled since 2008, making the South Asian country one of its top three markets outside China.
In the first half of the year, Hong Kong posted a 14 percent year on year increase in Indian visitors, he said.
Mainland tourist arrivals were up about 15 percent in the first nine months from the same period of last year, according to the Trade Development Council.
Nijhawan said India, one of Hong Kong’s five new key markets, is expected to see 50 million outbound travelers annually by 2020.
Ocean Park has lost no time making Indian tourists feel at home.
It has hired Indian cooks and introduced five types of set meals.
Simon Lee, a senior lecturer in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said middle class Indian tourists with a certain lifestyle will find Hong Kong ideal for short trips, with flights from New Delhi taking just over about five hours
Between them, Hong Kong and India are served by 68 flights per week, he said.
Lee contrasted Hong Kong with Thailand, another popular tourist destination, which has been wracked recently by political unrest and tourist killings.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Tourism Board said plans are under way to invite Indian fashion designers, movie stars, food critics and writers to Hong Kong.
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