The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced today that its annual signature event “Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival” will take place virtually for the first time, making this year’s festival the most accessible to international audiences ever. Rather than a four-day event, this year’s festival will span multiple weeks in November allowing audiences around the world many opportunities to connect with Hong Kong’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and industry thought leaders through virtual pairings, workshops and classes.
The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, which launched in 2009, altered its format to ensure it could produce a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees in light of evolving health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. As part of the new format, this virtual festival will continue to deliver international wine and dining experiences that showcase the world’s most talented winemakers and culinary connoisseurs without worrying about social-distancing restrictions or time and geographical constraints. The full program and digital events line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.
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. Organizing the Festival virtually allows us to achieve both objectives without compromising public health and safety.”
“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,” Dr. Pang added. “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.”
To preserve as much original flavor of the physical event as possible, the HKTB is building an online hub where most of the Festival programs will take place. Wine merchants will be providing special discounts and products for online shopping tailored to the Festival, which participants can browse and purchase. 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.