Cathay Pacific links with hotels to encourage Hong Kong stopovers

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HONG KONG -- Cathay Pacific is offering passengers a free night in one of 12 Hong Kong hotels to drum up business during the region's current tourism slump.

In a joint promotion with several Hong Kong hotels, the program awards passen gers a free night of accommodation if they travel through Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific between April 1 and June 30, 1998 on a long haul flight.

Passengers will also be offered discounted rates for subsequent nights. The hotel selec tion depends on the type of fare, ranging from the J.W. Marriott and Kowloon Shangri-La to a selection of economy hotels.

"This is one of a series of value-added programs which encourage overseas travelers to experience Hong Kong," says Peter Buecking, Cathay Pacific's director of marketing and sales. "We want passengers to see Hong Kong as the best value transit point in Asia."

International print schedules break this week in The Economist, The Financial Times, Time, Business Week, Fortune, the Asian Wall Street Journal, and Asiaweek.

Local markets will adapt creative from McCann-Erickson for placement as well and travel trade support will be added in the near future.

The media budget was not disclosed, but Craig Briggs, worldwide account director for Cathay Pacific at McCann-Erickson, says Cathay Pacific is one of the few Asian carriers still spending in "this poor business climate."

He adds that the promotion "is a good example of how the advertising investment [of Cathay Pacific] is not being 'canceled' [as press reports have suggested], but redirected toward more opportunistic uses that can immediately generate sales and revenue."

Other airlines investing in special promo tions to encourage traveling are Singapore Airlines and Royal Air Brunei, which "seem to be everywhere," Mr. Briggs says.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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