Despite ongoing political tensions and challenges related to Covid-19, Hong Kong has secured four international MICE events — two of which will be held in the city for the first time — proving the destination's reputation as a global business hub continues to hold firm.
The Congress of Asian Society of Cardiovascular Imaging (ASCI) will be held in 2022, while the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium, Asia Sports Technology Conference and the Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation (CAST) are set to take place in 2023.
Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) chairman, YK Pang, said: “We are excited to see Hong Kong winning such strategically important MICE events against competitors around the world. It is encouraging to see major events to be held in our city for the very first time... It demonstrates international event organisers’ confidence in Hong Kong as a strategic, safe and hygienic destination for high-profile business events."
Given the nature of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, securing ASCI 2022 is a strategic win for HKTB. Lilian Leong, founding president and immediate past president of the Hong Kong College of Radiologists, said the city's reputation was a factor behind the win.
“Hong Kong’s world-leading position in medical science, especially in radiology and cardiology, certainly sets it apart from its competitions." She also thanked Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong, a division of the HKTB, for the bidding support she received.
Meanwhile, Phillip King, founder and chairman of Varcis Group, said Hong Kong was selected to host the Greater China region's first Asia Sports Technology Conference thanks to its access to mainland China and its start-up ecosystem. “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.”
The secured events are expected to attract 10,000 visitors and drive multi-sector development, and seemingly have given HKTB the boost it needed to re-engage with the global MICE sector.
"The 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," Pang said.
In a statement, HKTB confirmed it is closely monitoring the development of the pandemic in various source markets and that a series of recovery campaigns will be launched "when the time is right".