SARS-affected countries unveil new campaigns

Two of the countries most affected by the SARS outbreak have unveiled major campaigns to grow confidence among C&I buyers. The Singapore Tourist Board (STB) is launching a S$200m (£70m) global programme, Singapore Roars, while the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is spending HK$1bn (£80m) in a bid to boost tourist numbers. The Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers is also launching a £3.65m UK push. "Nobody knows how long it will take for business to get back to normal, but the mood is positive," said STB marketing manager for the UK & Ireland Christina Nedovich. "The key thing is that people come and see it for themselves," she added. Hong Kong’s promotional campaign will begin in earnest in September but a direct mail campaign has already been launched. A fam trip, with 15 UK agents, is scheduled for November, and an association buyer "mega fam" is planned for March 2004. Sharon Wood, manager for Europe for conventions, exhibitions and corporate events at the HKTB, added the priority was to rebook events postponed during the crisis. "Enquiry levels are rising and business is coming back," she said. Hong Kong will host 52 events from June to December 2003, while Singapore will welcome high-profile conferences for Publicis among others.

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