BUSINESS event and association leaders have sung the praises of Hong Kong after organisers selected the city for four international trade shows and conferences.
Hong Kong Tourism Board says the events are expected to bring in about 10,000 high-yield visitors in total and “deliver great economic contribution to the city and drive multi-sector development”.
The city’s tourism chiefs say the events are a “shot in the arm”. They come as the city’s events industry reels from the Covid-19 slowdown and political tensions simmering following the street protests of 2019.
Events coming to the city for the first time include:
- International Airline Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium,
- Asia Sports Technology Conference;
- Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation (CAST) 2023.
Events returning to Hong Kong:
- Congress of Asian Society of Cardiovascular Imaging (ASCI) 2022
- Asia Funeral and Cemetery Expo & Conference 2021.
Dr Lilian Leong, of the Hong Kong College of Radiologists, the association behind the ASCI event, said the city’s reputation in related professions and all-round support to MICE organisers were key factors in winning the bid for Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong’s world-leading position in medical science, especially in radiology and cardiology, certainly sets it apart from its competitions,” Dr Leong said.
She added that the association was also grateful for the support of Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK), a division of the HKTB, which provided professional one-stop services in every step since the bidding stage.
MEHK had also made medical events a focus of its bid campaigns.
Another event organiser, Phillip King, founder and chairman of Varcis Group, Hong Kong chose Hong Kong to host the first Asia Sports Technology Conference in Greater China.
King said Hong Kong was the “gateway to mainland China and its burgeoning sports market”. He praised the city’s “superb infrastructure, strong financial and investment credentials, excellent IP protection and common law”.
Hong Kong’s role as an “innovation and technology hub with a thriving start-up ecosystem… plays a pivotal role in the Greater Bay Area”.
“We strongly believe we will draw one of the largest number of attendees from the APEC region for a sports tech event hosted in Asia,” King said.
Hong Kong’s core strengths were credited by HKTB as attracting the return of past events. Kenny Lo, chief executive of Vertical Expo Services and organiser of Asia Funeral and Cemetery Expo & Conference 2021 casted his vote of confidence.
“Since the first edition came to Hong Kong back in 2009, the show has gradually developed into the largest international expo and conference of its kind in the Asia Pacific region,” Lo said.
“We have every confidence that the city will bring our next three editions to even greater heights.”
YK Pang, HKTB chairman, said the event wins showed that international event organisers had confidence in Hong Kong as a strategic, safe and hygienic destination for high-profile business events.
“HKTB will continue to proactively engage international and Hong Kong organisers to bid for hosting rights of major MICE events and step up efforts in attracting repeated events with a view to maintain Hong Kong’s status as The World’s Meeting Place,” Pang said.
A spokesman said HKTB has prepared a series of recovery campaigns for the MICE industry will be “launched when the time is right”.
HKTB was meanwhile “closely monitoring the development of the pandemic in various source markets”.