New Delhi: 8 June 2023: Jointly organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association (HKCDBA), “the International Dragon Boat Races” will kick off the summer eventful season on 24 – 25 June (Sat & Sun) after four years, with over 160 teams of about 4,000 dragon boat athletes participating in the events in Victoria Harbour, showering both local spectators and visitors with the thrills of Harbour events on the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade.
Mr Dane Cheng, HKTB Executive Director, said, “’ The International Dragon Boat Races’ is the HKTB’s first international sports event since travel resumed in Hong Kong. It is a great pleasure to have the best dragon boat teams from around the world join us this year, and we are delighted to invite the teams from the nine cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), Macao and Hong Kong to compete in the ‘Greater Bay Area Championship’. It is also the first time that we introduce the ‘Hong Kong-Macao Trophy’ in collaboration with Macao. These races are going to promote the partnership and cooperation between the cities in the GBA driving multi-destination tourism in the Area. In the future, we hope to inject more GBA elements into our sports events to build the GBA tourism brand. For the first time, cash prizes will be available to winning teams in five major races to encourage teams from around the world to participate.”
Mr Arnold Chung, Secretary General of the HKCDBA, said, “‘The Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races’ is the world’s most historical dragon boat competition, attracting strong teams from all over the world, and I believe the races in Victoria Harbour will be sensational. I would like to thank the various government departments and partners for their support. HKCDBA has long strived to make the sports of dragon boat popular and will continue to pass on the heritage and culture of the Dragon Boat Festival and the festivities to the local public as well as visitors.”
“The Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races” continues to be an “M” Mark event by the Major Sports Events Committee (https://www.mevents.org.hk/en/about.php), signifying the event’s status as a major event of international importance in the sporting world. The event features three highlights below:
- 4,000 athletes competing in races, first time offering cash prizes in five major races
This year, “the International Dragon Boat Races” will be held over two days with a total of 17 races. Over 160 teams from 10 countries and regions, including first-timer Poland, as well as teams from Australia, Dubai, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the Mainland, Macao and Hong Kong. Among them, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines are sending their national teams to compete.
About 4,000 of the best players will be competing for the championship in Victoria Harbour.
To encourage active participation, the HKTB is offering cash prizes in five major races for the first time, including “the International Championship”, “the International Open Grand Championship”, “the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Championship”, “the Hong Kong Championship” and “the Hong Kong-Macao Trophy”. The champion of these races will be awarded US$10,000 to encourage teams to be more committed and to add excitement to the event.
- 9+2 GBA cities actively participate, in the debut of the “Hong Kong-Macao Trophy”
“The Greater Bay Area Championship” is one of the highlights of “the International Dragon Boat Races”. The event brings together 11 elite teams from Jiangmen, Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhaoqing, Shenzhen, Huizhou, Zhongshan and Zhuhai, as well as Hong Kong and Macao, to compete against each other, with a view to fostering exchanges between the cities in the Area and learning from each other’s strengths, creating synergy and enhancing Hong Kong’s role as a centre for international tourism events in GBA.
This year, the “Hong Kong-Macao Trophy” will be jointly held by the two cities for the first time. Six teams from the Mainland, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong and Macao will compete in the “Macao International Dragon Boat Races” and “the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races” on 22 and 24 June respectively, before competing in “the Hong Kong-Macao Trophy” in the Final on 25 June. The event will showcase the cooperation between the two places in promoting multi-destination tourism. This year’s competition is not only exciting but also fun and vibrant! Both local, mainland and overseas teams will be dressed up in fun and creative costumes to compete in the “Fancy Dress Competition”.
- Festival Limited Edition LINE FRIENDS Hello Hong Kong Dragon Boats Photo Spots
To attract more citizens and visitors to participate in the event, this year, LINE FRIENDS Hello Hong Kong Dragon Boats Photo Spots will be set up along the Avenue of Stars for the public to take selfies. For the first time, beloved characters like BROWN, CONY, SALLY, CHOCO and other LINE FRIENDS buddies will be shown as dragon boat athletes. From 19 June for two weeks, they will appear as installations incorporating the Dragon Boat Festival theme and enjoy the harbour view with everyone.
Not only can citizens and visitors take selfies with these energetic LINE FRIENDS characters in front of the Victoria Harbour, but also purchase Dragon Boat-themed FRIENDS Dragon Boat Themed POP-UP STORE at the Avenue of Stars. This Hong Kong edition merchandise, like a dragon, boat-themed waterproof pouches, cooling towels and beach towels, make perfect edition merchandise at the LINE mementoes of this special event!
To heighten the festivity, a number of restaurants around Tsim Sha Tsui East are offering various dining privileges from 22 to 25 June, including up to 25% off dine-in and buy-one-get-one-free beer offers.