ITE Hong Kong looks set to be the first travel trade show in the Greater Bay Area since the Covid-19 outbreak with organisers counting on what they see as encouraging tourism business sentiment emerging in China.
TKS Exhibitions, which has been holding the combined leisure and MICE show at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for the past 33 years, was forced to postpone ITE Hong Kong 2020 to August 6-9 due to travel restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman for TKS says the new August date positions the show for a “speedy tourism recovery” in mainland China and Hong Kong, while also engaging with tourism authorities and companies across the Pearl Delta region, now known as the Greater Bay Area.
Greater Bay includes cities on either side of the Pearl Delta such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which has been linked to Macau and Zhuhai by bridge and sea tunnel since October 2018. Organisers point out that the GBA has a combined GDP comparable to the world’s 13th largest economy.
TKS has also been spurred by figures indicating a tourism bounce back in the region and has issued a Recovery Report detailing the statistics.
The spokesman said ten of thousands of Hong Kong residents have already travelled abroad in the past two months during the outbreak. Other indicators include:
- Several public surveys in China in which more than half of respondents expressed an interest in traveling in this year;
- One survey found 45 per cent of respondents expressed an interest in traveling abroad; and,
- 70 per cent of travel-trade company bosses surveyed said they would jump into sales initiatives once they are given an all-clear.
“As the world’s largest and 12th largest outbound market respectively in 2018, mainland China and Hong Kong are probably more ready for recovery when some other top markets may still be engaged in combating outbreak,” said the TKS spokesman.
TKS said it would extend deadlines and provide flexible arrangements to exhibitors affected by the sudden travel restrictions.
Measures will also be taken to enhance health and safety in the August ITE, including wider aisles, temperature checks; admitting only those wearing surgical masks, the spacing of seats at seminars and business matching meetings.
Organisers say 30 per cent of ITE’s 12,000 buyers and trade visitors at the 2019 show were from mainland China and more than 60 per cent from Hong Kong.
“With different peak seasons, the two markets are complementary and thus exhibit a more even distribution of inbound visitors,” the spokesman said. “Additionally, ITE’s two public days, attended by over 73,000 quality visitors with 85 per cent FIT/private tour, is a cost-effective platform for public promotions and retail sale directly to travellers.”
The first two days of ITE Hong Kong 2020, the 34th ITE (Leisure) & 15th ITE MICE is for trade and professionals and requires registration with business card. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance by members of the public on the third and fourth days of the event.
Organised by TKS Exhibition Services, ITE is supported by China’s Ministry of Culture and the Hong Kong Tourism Board among other regional bodies.
ITE’s 2019 edition drew 675 exhibitors from 56 participating countries and regions. For more information, visit www.itehk.com. For enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org | Wechat: ite-hongkong | Tel: +852 31550600.