The 2020 Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival officially concluded yesterday. It was the first time the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) had adopted an “online + offline” format for the event, ensuring that the public could take part without having to worry about the Covid-19 outbreak. During the five consecutive weeks it was held, the Festival had a full table of gastronomic experiences for local and international audiences.
Online Masterclasses Viewed Nearly 850,000 Times
The Online Masterclasses – a new “ingredient” of this year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival – became a go-to program at home for many people during the Covid-19 outbreak. A total of 34 classes were held over three weekends, generating almost 850,000 views. About 30% of the viewers came from the short- and long-haul markets, such as India, Taiwan, the UK, France, the U.S. and Canada.
The most popular Online Masterclasses included the “Ah Yat Fried Rice” cooking demonstration by Forum Restaurant’s Executive Chef Adam Wong; the craft beer and artisan cheese pairing class by Young Master Brewery and Monsieur CHATTÉ; and “Art of Blending: When Johnnie Walker Meets Coffee” by world-class mixologist Antonio Lai and professional coffee barista Timmy Lam.
Though all of the live Online Masterclasses have ended, full videos are still available to view on the event website https://winedinefestival.discoverhongkong.com.
Takeaway/Delivery Menus and Dining Offers Met with Positive Response
This year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival continued to bring opportunities for wine merchants and the dining sector to promote their products and businesses. For example, the HKTB collaborated with top hotels and popular restaurants to present 30 menus for delivery or takeaway, many of which were exclusive to the Festival, including a special afternoon tea set designed by Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The hotel’s Director of Marketing Communications, Ms. Eva Kwok said, “The limited-time-only afternoon tea set was selling better than we expected. Though Hong Kong people are eating out less these days, they are still drawn by exquisite food.”
The HKTB partnered with dining platforms and associations to roll out offers at over 500 dining outlets to stimulate the local economy, resulting in more than 10,000 reservation bookings at a time when Covid-19 was under control. “Through the HKTB’s promotional platform, many of our participating restaurants achieved more reservations than expected and reached new customer segments,” said Mr. Ryan So, Director of Business Development Greater Bay Area and Hong Kong of Dining City, one of the Festival’s partner platforms.
Continued Promotion of Hong Kong in Visitor Markets
The HKTB conducted promotions in the visitor source markets with a focus on enhancing Hong Kong’s image as a culinary capital. It arranged a series of online wine-and-dine activities for nearly 100 journalists from the long- and short-haul markets, such as previews of the Online Masterclasses, a virtual dining culture guided tour, and interviews and interaction with well-known Hong Kong chefs and wine critics. Even though the international media could not be in Hong Kong physically, they were still able to learn about the city’s food culture and get the latest news about its dining scene.
Hong Kong celebrity chef Christian Yang led an online foodie tour to promote Hong Kong’s local dining culture to overseas media.