100% of venue costs will be subsidised for organisers of exhibitions and conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Special government has announced it will inject a subsidy of slightly more than HK$1 billion (US$130 million) into exhibition and convention business, in an effort to reinvigorate the sector in the face of high-profile event cancellations.
Under the programme, 100% of venue costs will be subsidised for organisers of exhibitions and conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), provided the event has more than 400 participants, with at least 50% of those participants arriving from outside of Hong Kong.
Any exhibitors and conference attendees participating in major exhibitions and conventions organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will have half of their participation fees covered for up to US$1,280 over a 12-month period.
Ms Monica Lee-Müller, MD of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Management Limited (HML), the HKCEC's private management company, applauded the decision as "a timely relief measure for the industry that has been greatly affected by the protect activities in the second half of 2019 and the recent outbreak COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, events including the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and Art Basel Hong Kong have been cancelled.
Ms Lee-Müller emphasised that the subsidy was a chance to help the destination recover from these challenges, and a recognition of the importance of exhibitions and conventions for the Hong Kong economy.
"[It] sends a positive message to international event organisers that Hong Kong welcomes their return," said Ms Lee-Müller. "We are confident that the measures will encourage organisers with postponed events to confirm their new schedules, and new organisers to confirm their plans."
This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared in Northstar Meetings Group.