People who might otherwise be visiting Hong Kong this month have been caught up by World Cup fever and are staying at home in front of their televisions instead, tourism officials say. With that in mind, the Tourism Board is promoting the city's two-month-long Shopping Festival, which starts at the end of June, in Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries, where people may be less enthusiastic than those in Europe or Northeast Asia about the World Cup finals in Germany. The event is expected to attract 4.6 million visitors, similar to last year's figure. Lambert Chan Lap-yip, the board's general manager for destination marketing, said he was not worried about the impact of soccer fever, though some holidaymakers from Europe, Japan and South Korea might delay their trips to Hong Kong because of it. 'The two events are not completely overlapping. Some of the visitors will still come after the tournament [ends on July 9].' 'Meanwhile we have turned to young office ladies in the region. As a famous shopping paradise, it will be a big attraction to them,' he said. The board expects visitors during the shopping festival to spend an average of $4,600. Mr Chan said he believed the festival, and the opening of the Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai and the Ngong Ping 360 cable car line on Lantau, would boost tourism this summer. This year's festival has more shops participating than ever before and a promotional budget up 20 per cent from last year, to $14 million. One of the biggest items of expenditure has been improvements to the Aqua Fantasia multimedia water show staged beside the clock tower on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Performances on some days will now include words and images. Mr Chan refused to say how much had been spent on improvements. More than 7,500 shops and 33 malls and department stores will take part. Forty-five per cent will extend their opening hours to 10pm to attract evening shoppers. Any visitor or resident spending more than $300 during the festival will be eligible for entry to a grand draw, featuring 113 prizes worth a total of more than $2.7 million.