More than 100 business leaders in Hong Kong have joined forces with the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) as local Convention Ambassadors, tapping on their individual networks to promote the city as a destination meetings and events.
“The Hong Kong Convention Ambassador programme is formulated not only to bring business events to the city when travel resumes, it will also promote the advantages of Hong Kong to the global business community and help drive multi-sectoral recovery," said HKTB chairman, YK Pang.
Referring to MICE visitors as high-yielding travellers who spend at least 20% more per capita than general visitors, Pang added that this "economic multiplier effect of hosting world-class MICE events is huge" and that HKTB will offer "full support" to its ambassadors — not just for wins in Hong Kong, but also the Greater Bay Area.
Already, their efforts have begun to bear some fruit.
In January, the city hosted more than 3,000 dental professionals over the three-day Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium (HKIDEAS), also the first trade exhibition held since the fourth wave of Covid-19 hit in late 2020.
Convention ambassador, Dr Century Tsang, who's president of the Hong Kong Dental Association and honourary chairman the HKIDEAS Organising Committee said, “We are excited to host such a successful expo and symposium during the pandemic. We worked closely with the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to implement stringent preventive and social distancing measures to ensure the event went smoothly and safely.”
In November, Hong Kong is expected to welcome some 2,400 delegates attending the Greater Bay Area Artificial Intelligence Congress.
Another convention ambassador, professor Philip Chiu — associate dean (external affairs), faculty of medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and chair of the 15th Asia Pacific Congress of Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA 2021) — is said to have pulled out all the stops to secure the annual congress for the city.
Also happening in November, the congress (the biggest of its kind in Asia) will be held at the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park, with Chiu crediting Hong Kong's "solid fundamentals and a track record in hosting international medical conferences".
"Together with leaders in other specialties, I am honoured to take part in promoting Hong Kong as the international city for conferences,” he added.
Twelve upcoming ambassador-led events are expected to generate close to US$10 million in tourism receipts. This includes:
- Global Chinese Breast Cancer Organisations Alliance Conference 2021
23rd International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians 2021
- Greater Bay Area Artificial Intelligence Congress 2021
- 15th Asia Pacific Congress of Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia
- Asian Conference on Emergency Medicine 2021
- Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium 2021
- International Airline Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium 2022
- World Confederation for Physical Therapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress 2022
- Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR) 2022
- Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Congress 2023
- The Congress of Asian Society of Cardiovascular Imaging (ASCI) 2023
- The Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation (CAST) 2023