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Cathay Pacific and Tourism Board launch augmented reality app

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and Cathay Pacific Airways announce today (17 May) their joint initiative – DiscoverHongKong Mobile App Series – one of the first smart phone travel application series in the world that makes use of the augmented reality technology.

HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said: “In recent years, Wi-Fi technology has advanced progressively, leading to greater functions for smart phones and the popular trend of promotions via the mobile platform. Our visitor survey also showed that more than half of all visitors to Hong Kong bring a smart phone with them during their trip. Capitalising on this trend, we have joined hands with Cathay Pacific to devise the DiscoverHongKong Mobile App Series, enabling visitors to find tourist information near their location easily when they are travelling in Hong Kong. These mobile applications also provide a platform for the HKTB to introduce the mega events and activities, as well as retail and dining outlets in the city, maximising the effectiveness of our promotions.”

Cathay Pacific Chief Operating Officer Mr Ivan Chu said: “Cathay Pacific Airways and the HKTB have enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership over the years and we have supported a number of mega events and overseas promotions organised by the HKTB. We have worked hard to promote Hong Kong across our global network, helping to foster the development of our home city’s economy and tourism industry. Today, we are very happy to extend our partnership with the HKTB to include mobile technology. We believe these new apps will help to publicise Hong Kong and further boost the experience for those visiting Asia’s world city.”

The DiscoverHongKong Mobile App Series currently includes two applications. One of these is “DiscoverHongKong - AR”, which features over 100 attractions, 5,000 retail outlets and 2,000 dining establishments, as well as the shopping malls and open-air markets all over Hong Kong.

Combining the augmented reality technology with the global positioning system (GPS) and camera of the smart phone, the application shows points of interest, including major attractions, shops accredited under the HKTB’s Quality Tourism Services Scheme and award-winning restaurants, in visitors’ vicinity. All visitors need to do is use the camera of their phone as a viewer, and the points of interest will appear overlaid on the real-world views on the phone screen. They can also tap each of these points of interest for detailed information (such as introduction and address), and refer to the offline map for transportation routes, making the application a round-the-clock digital travel guide for travellers.


The other application, “DiscoverHongKong - City Walks”, leads visitors through four themed walking trails in the urban areas of Hong Kong. Also using the augmented reality technology, a detailed offline map and the GPS, this application acts like a docent by providing in-depth information on each of the attractions along the trails, enriching visitors’ travel experience in Hong Kong. There is also a search function for users to locate shops, restaurants, MTR exits and Wi-Fi hotspots near the trails.

iPhone users can now download both applications on the Apple App Store for free, whereas the Android versions will be launched in the third quarter of this year. Later this year, a “DiscoverHongKong - Heritage Walk” application will also be launched under the same app series.

Currently, the HKTB is collaborating with PCCW to provide Wi-Fi services at over 8,000 hotspots for visitors to access and download the travel applications onto their smart phones at no cost. This service helps to enhance visitors’ experience during their stay in Hong Kong.