Every day of the year, Hong Kong is a shopper’s dream-come-true. But between 26 June and 31 August this year, shopping in Hong Kong will become even more exciting. Those are the dates for the region’s summertime 2004 Hong Kong Shopping Festival … a sensational extravaganza that highlights the best of shopping in the region: the sophistication and luxury, the fun and the bargains, the superb quality, the special service, the late-night hours of the shops and many restaurants and, of course, all the city’s other spectacular events that complete the experience of a stay in Hong Kong.

To add to the excitement this year, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is staging a “2004 Shopper of the Year” contest in 15 major markets. As well as publicizing the Shopping Festival, the contest is intended to create of wave of shopping expeditions to the city as the short-listed contestants travel to Hong Kong to vie for the title “Shopper of the Year” on 20 and 21 July.

HKTB Regional Director, The Americas – Ms Lily Shum – is delighted that Canada and the United States are among the 15 participating markets for this contest. They will join Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mainland China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom in the fun-filled contest that will create a great deal of international interest. Short-listed contestants from these markets will each be awarded two round-trip air tickets to Hong Kong and hotel accommodation to enable each, with a companion, to take part in the final shopping challenge. Ms Shum said, “Besides showcasing the shopping strengths of Hong Kong, which include value for money, variety of choice, quality assurance and service excellence, the contest will enable visitors to enjoy the many special activities planned for the duration of the Festival. No matter what the interests of our visitors are, there will be endless fun and excitement for everyone to enjoy from day to night.”

This year, two new elements will be added to this popular annual competition. To tie in with the late-night shopping fun of the Festival, the final round of the contest will take place during the evening between 6:00 and 10:00. Each contestant and his or her partner will be given HK$3,000 (approximately C$525) with which to purchase one item from each of the Festival’s four major shopping themes: Fashion & Beauty, Jewellery & Watches, Consumer Electronics and Chinese Traditions. Contestants will be required to shop at Quality Tourism Services (QTS) merchant outlets and/or the 2004 Hong Kong Shopping Festival participating merchants displaying the designated decal. The contest judged to have made the best buys and bargains will be named ‘Shopper of the Year’.

Members of the judging panel are the HKTB Executive Director Ms Clara Chong, representatives from the QTS Association and sponsoring organizations while, to encourage local participation and interest, the panel will also include a local resident. The prize presentation ceremony is scheduled to take place on 21 July.

To add to the excitement, the contests will be required to photograph one of Hong Kong’s “must see” attractions. This will lead them to experience not only the city’s shopping fun but also its exciting and innovative attractions. The winning team that captures the best “must-see” attraction in pictures will be presented with ‘The Most Creative Photo Award’.

With the generous support of the sponsors, winners of the final contest will receive a number of fabulous prizes. The grand prizes include two Cathay Pacific Business Class round-trip tickets between Hong Kong and any destination within its network, two extra nights hotel stay (up-graded to a suite), a Samsung 40” LCD TV and two Samsung Notebooks. Those deemed by the judges to have the highest scores in the four shopping theme categories and the ‘Most Creative Photo Award’ winner will each win a Hitachi DVD camera. In addition, all contestants will keep the items they purchased!

Preparations for the Hong Kong Shopping Festival are already well underway. One of the core events will be a multi-media water theatre show called Aqua Fantasia, to be staged thrice nightly (at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30) in front of the Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. Fireworks will be added to the spectacle through the evening on 26 June and to the 9:30 show on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. In addition to these spectacles, eye-catching decorations will be mounted on the Clock Tower to seemingly turn the historic landmark into a giant shopping bag.  To further publicize the event, HKTB staff will distribute promotional leaflets and Hong Kong Shopping Festival Passports to visitors at major entry points to the region. 

Since the details of the Shopping Festival were announced, the HKTB has received enthusiastic response from local merchants and the Board anticipates that over 5,500 outlets will participate. Over 1,000 outlets accredited under the QTS scheme have already undertaken to provide special offers. As an added incentive for visitors to spend, the HKTB is organizing a Lucky Draw featuring 56 fabulous prizes worth over HK$2 million ($357,000 Can.) in total. For every purchase of HK$300 ($54 Can.) or more at participating merchants or restaurants, the purchaser will receive a stamp to collect a Lucky Draw entry coupon.

Through its worldwide offices, the HKTB is conducting the first rounds of the contest in association with shopping malls, department stores, websites, newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and TV stations in the 15 international markets. To select the contestants for the final round, different contest formats such as on-line games, quizzes, essay and shopping competitions are being adopted. Through these consumer promotions and media channels, the HKTB aims to promote the Shopping Festival and encourage more consumers to travel to Hong Kong to enjoy the ‘total experience’. Details of the Festival can also be found on-line at http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/shop/hksf/index.jhtml This site gives maps of shopping areas; lists and details of malls, department stores, and street markets; shopping tips; ‘Hong Kong Must Buy’ suggestions and much more. In addition, the HKTB will bring over 50 media representatives from the respective markets to Hong Kong. Their coverage will enable visitors worldwide to share the fun of this exciting, ‘loved-by-all’ Festival.

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