UNCERTAINTY surrounding Covid-pandemic restrictions has scuppered the inaugural Hong Kong Yacht Show with organisers forced to postpone the event to 2021.
Verventia, which also organises yacht shows in Singapore and Thailand, said travel restrictions and limits on capacity also led to the decision to delay the event, which was scheduled for November 19-22, alongside Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.
With just over four weeks left until the planned opening of the inaugural Hong Kong Yacht Show, there is unfortunately still a lot of uncertainty about exactly what we would be able to deliver next month,” said Verventia CEO Andy Treadwell in a message to exhibitors and other participants.
“With the agreement of the vast majority of our major exhibitors, for whose wholehearted support we are extremely grateful, I am afraid we have had to postpone the show to October 2021.
“By that time, we are all confident that these dramatically unpredictable times will be behind us, and we will be able to deliver a truly professional, attractive, entertaining and highly populated boat show, worthy of its name, and a proper representation of our important industry.
“It’s rather late in the day, but unfortunately, we have been given no assurances that we would be able to do that this November,” Treadwell wrote in the statement.
“I am extremely sorry about the situation – especially for my hard-working team – but as you will appreciate, it is entirely out of our hands.”
Verventia’s announcement about the Hong Kong event follows the postponement of the Singapore Yacht Show.
Hong Kong has eased restrictions on bars and restaurants since another surge in Covid outbreaks came under control, but quarantine measures remain in place for most inbound business travellers.
The situation has prompted exhibition industry leaders to call on governments worldwide to introduce the latest Covid-testing procedures over quarantine for business events travel.
“It’s been particularly tough for the events industry, with travel and capacity restrictions limiting our ability to stage our usual yacht shows – strategic annual events which must give a reasonable return on investment to our stakeholders,” Treadwell added.