HONG KONG: Dragon Quest

HONG KONG: Dragon Quest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEBUTING JULY 5, “HONG KONG: QUEST FOR THE DRAGON” WITH RICHARD BANGS

COAXES INNER SPIRIT OF ASIA’S WORLD CITY INTO THE NATIONAL LIMELIGHT

AS PART OF PBS’S POPULAR “ADVENTURES WITH PURPOSE” SERIES

Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Rolls Out Integrated Marketing Campaign

with Consumer Packaging from United Vacations Linked to PBS Programming

LOS ANGELES, 16 June 2010 — As viewers learn from film host Richard Bangs – one of the pioneers of modern adventure travel and a storyteller par excellence – in the opening moments of his latest “Adventures with Purpose” documentary on PBS, Hong Kong is “a place that pushes the limits of the possible, and not so much predicts the future, as invents it.”

Embracing that insight, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched an inventive consumer program that will give sophisticated travelers the opportunity to embark on their own “Quest for the Dragon” adventure with United Vacations.

The packages, with affordable lead-in prices from $1469 for roundtrip trans­pacific air from San Francisco and five hotel nights, offer the flexibility and options globetrotters need to customize their itineraries to their tastes – with time and scope to satisfy their interests in Hong Kong, the quintessential crossroads destination that fuses east with west, tradition with modernity, reverence for the past with eyes on the future.

Asking questions at the outset of the show – “What makes Hong Kong the city of the century, the city of tomorrow?” – Bangs embarks on a personal “quest to discover what unique forces drive this city to virtuosity and greatness.”   And discover he does.

“Such questions have always motivated travelers to find and explore their own Hong Kong,” said Bill Flora, Director, USA, HKTB. “After enjoying ‘Hong Kong: Quest for the Dragon’ on their local PBS station, they’ll understand the many ways in which Hong Kong offers a culturally-enriching destination experience with adventures around every corner.   Part of the answer lies in Hong Kong’s surprising natural beauty, the physical splendor of the setting – but as Bangs discovered, it’s got even more to do with its authentic cultural traditions and joyous festivals on both sides of Victoria Harbour, on Hong Kong’s many islands and in the spontaneous pleasures of the parks and streets.”

These festive threads of cultural authenticity in Asia’s world city are woven together and spring to life in the inspired storytelling of Bangs and the Small World Productions team who filmed in Hong Kong during Chinese New Year in February 2010.   Consumers may view a highly interesting series of video webisodes from the one-hour documentary at http://www.discoverhongkong.com/usa/trip-planner/quest-for-the-dragon.html

While 2010 is the “Year of the Tiger,” in Hong Kong the dragon is everywhere, an enduring emblem that captures the inner spirit of the city’s past, present and future life. The dragon figures in such festive events and customs as the Dragon Boat Races, Chinese New Year celebrations, Bun Festival, tea ceremony, feng shui, tai chi and other unforced manifestations of Hong Kong’s heart and soul.  Representations of the dragon – and the evocation of power and good fortune it symbolizes – may be seen on modern skyscrapers’ edifices and at the entrance of lush green city parks.  Even Kowloon, on the Chinese mainland across from Hong Kong Island, literally means ‘nine dragons” and no other creature, real or mythic, carries such blessings and beneficence.

Create Your Own “Quest for the Dragon” Adventure with United Vacations

Whether riding the tram to Victoria Peak, shopping in Stanley Market, cruising in an authentic junk on Victoria Harbour, or partaking of the ancient Chinese tea ceremo­ny, the program appeals to first-time and repeat visitors alike – and just like Hong Kong residents themselves, taps straight into the core of the city’s vibrant cultural life.

The United Vacations packages – available August 2010 through March 2011 – include roundtrip transpacific airfare to Hong Kong on United Airlines from its San Francisco gateway, five nights in a choice of hotels plus daily breakfast (based on double occupancy), airport transfer, afternoon Kowloon “Culture & Life” tour, evening cocktail cruise for optimum viewing of Hong Kong’s acclaimed “Symphony of Lights” on Victoria Harbour, seafood dinner at Lei-Yue-Mun fishing village and optional cultural tours.

The Kowloon “Culture & Life” tour, for instance, takes in a landscape of bustling cultural tableaus including the famed Bird Market and Flower Market – plus a handful of less familiar but no less alluring experiences.   An optional half-day City tour invites travelers to meander among Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks.   A full day Lantau Island tour soars aloft on a “Ngong Ping 360” cable car ride and comes back to earth for a delicious vegetarian lunch.  With cultural enrichment at every turn, travelers are invited to shape their own quest as they savor Hong Kong’s contrasts and fusions – of east with west, tradition with modernity, and a reverence for the past with the promise of the future that Richard Bangs encountered on his Quest.  There are even optional tours for family travelers with kid-friendly quests at Disneyland and Ocean Park.

Three hotels make every “Quest for the Dragon” a comfortable one with choice of the Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees in the Tokwawan District of Kowloon, the Harbour Grand Kowloon on the waterfront in the breezy Whampoa Garden district, or The Langham, Hong Kong, in the heart of Kowloon’s popular Tsimshatsui district with its outstanding array of shopping and entertainment.

To preview “Hong Kong: Quest for the Dragon” webisodes click here: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/usa/trip-planner/quest-for-the-dragon.html.

For more information on United Vacations “Quest for the Dragon” packages, click here:

http://www.uv-asia.com/Promotion/pkg_100615.htm.

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