In view of the uncertainties concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced that its annual signature event “Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival” will, for the first time, take on a virtual format.
Explaining this strategic move, HKTB Chairman Dr YK Pang said: “The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival has been one of the most popular events among locals and tourists alike since its inception over a decade ago. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak this year, we hope people can continue to enjoy Hong Kong’s unique dining culture while providing business opportunities for the local F&B sector amidst this challenging economic climate. Organising the Festival virtually allows us to achieve both objectives without compromising public health and safety.”
Dr Pang added, “The virtual Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival will strive to recreate the festive, joie de vivre atmosphere the event is famous for, by offering access to exclusive wine and gourmet experiences curated by experts on the subject. Taking advantage of the virtual format, the event will be extended from the usual four days to several weeks so that more people can take part regardless of time and geographical constraints.”
In order to preserve the original experience of the physical event, the HKTB is building an online hub where most of the Festival programmes will take place. A variety of wine merchants will be providing special discounts and products tailored for the Festival, which participants can browse and purchase in a virtual exhibition space. Meanwhile, renowned wine and food critics, chefs and wine experts will be invited to speak on wine-pairing and culinary topics in virtual workshops and classes.
The first Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival was launched in 2009 after Hong Kong and Bordeaux signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Wine-related Business. The large-scale outdoor event quickly became a talk of the town and was dubbed one of the world’s top 10 international food and wine festivals by Forbes Traveler.