Hong Kong trade rolls out recovery event in August

ITE 2020 organiser, TKS, expects ‘strong interest’ from the travel trade and FITs

The 'Recovery Edition' of the show will take place from 6 to 9 August 2020. Credit: TKS

HONG KONG - The Greater Bay Area is expected to resume its first travel fair as early as August as organisers of International Travel Expo (ITE) Hong Kong unveiled plans to stage a recovery event in Hong Kong.

ITE Hong Kong 2020, will combine the 34th ITE (LEISURE) and the 15th ITE MICE, and offer two trade days of B2B and B2MICE programmes with over 35% buyers and visitors from outside mainland China and abroad, and two public days of B2C programme.

Trade show organiser, TKS, said last week it will hold the annual trade show from 6 to 9 August 2020, billing it as a 'Recovery Edition'. It will take place at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Organisers are expecting that the "strong interest" in travel will "likely indicate a speedy tourism recovery".

The move comes as mainland China gradually began to reopen for business in March after months of lockdown and Chinese travellers returning by the droves to major scenic spots nationwide during the Qingming holiday in early April, according to state media reports.

While these are early signs yet that travel is beginning to recover, it is clear that travel trade in mainland China and Hong Kong are eager to resume business in what are the world's largest and 12th largest outbound markets respectively by 2018 figures.

TKS will be extending deadlines and provide flexible arrangements to exhibitors who are affected by sudden travel restriction. It will also be observing health safety measures such as widening aisles to enable safe distancing between visitors, temperature taking and requiring visitors to wear masks.

The show has previously attracted 12,000 buyers and trade visitors, which comprise 30% from mainland China while over 60% from Hong Kong. It also attracts over 73,000 visitors over two days, of which 85% are FIT and private tour visitors.

Last year's show drew 675 exhibitors from 56 participating countries and regions, despite being hemmed in by three successive large scale protests in Hong Kong in areas close to the venue respectively on the Sunday before opening, the day before opening and on its last day, a Sunday, was held successfully as planned with no loss in exhibitors.