New York, NY "“ April 23, 2009 – Hong Kong has declared 2009 the year of food and wine, and from now until next March Hong Kong will be a horn of plenty to eat and drink. While Hong Kong has long been known as Asia's culinary capital, the removal of wine duty this year presents an excellent opportunity to showcase all the reasons why. The city is passionate about food, and there's hardly a world cuisine that can't be found in Hong Kong, from the regional cooking of mainland China to most major Western fare.

Speaking at the launch ceremony held April 16, HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said: "Hong Kong is renowned for its culinary strength. Leveraging the Government's exemption of wine duty, which enables visitors to enjoy a wide selection of wine at highly attractive prices, the HKTB has decided to celebrate food and wine as our main theme for 2009. For the coming year, we hope to draw more visitors and create greater business opportunities for our catering sector, and in the longer term, strengthen Hong Kong's image as a wine and dine hub and enhance its destination appeal."

Throughout the Hong Kong Food and Wine Year, visitors will enjoy offers at restaurants and food outlets in the most popular sections of town. During the first phase (April to June), more than 1,000 local restaurants will take the lead to offer special privileges, which include complimentary dishes and drinks, buy-one, get-one free and 50% discount offers. Through its dedicated Hong Kong Food and Wine Year Web site, the HKTB will present wide-ranging information on the selection of food and wine in Hong Kong, as well as fabulous offers from the local catering industry. In addition to comprehensive content on Hong Kong's food and wine culture, the Web site will offer recommendations from celebrities, suggestions for Chinese food and wine pairing, wine and dine tips and seasonal special offers. Interactive features include a dining planner with Google Maps, plus downloadable guidebooks

The fall will bring several anchor events starting with the "Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival" with Carnivals of wine tasting, food sampling, wine appreciation classes, live entertainment and promotions presented by the world's top wineries. Popular restaurant districts including Lan Kwai Fong and Soho will offers street parties with live entertainment accompanied by international cuisine and wines. Weekend wine tours and wine walks will also be on offer, as well as the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair 2009 (Nov. 4-6). During this period, consumers can take Wine Tasting Certificate Classes to learn more about wine and develop their own palates for it.

For details and the latest offers of the Hong Kong Food and Wine Year, please check in regularly at the dedicated website: