Hong Kong to serve as 'super-connector' for China and international markets

The Hong Kong Tourism Board seeks to drive MICE recovery with short-haul travel throughout China's Greater Bay Area.

"Hong Kong's MICE industry has remained resilient and continues to operate with a top-notch standard under the new normal," says Kenneth Wong, general manager, MICE and cruise, HKTB.
"Hong Kong's MICE industry has remained resilient and continues to operate with a top-notch standard under the new normal," says Kenneth Wong, general manager, MICE and cruise, HKTB. Photo Credit:cozyta/Gettyimages

Despite a strict zero-Covid policy, the future calendar of events for Hong Kong is looking positive, with Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) recently securing 14 large-scale international MICE events for 2022 and beyond. These events are expected to attract 60,000 participants and include RISE Conference 2022-2026, Greater Bay Area Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Conference 2022 and IEEE Region 10 Conference 2022.

“During the pandemic, Hong Kong’s MICE industry has remained resilient and continues to operate with a top-notch standard under the new normal,” said HKTB General Manager, MICE and Cruise, Kenneth Wong. “To provide both event organisers and delegates with a safe and seamless event experience, industry players are constantly enhancing facilities and their first-class services to address the latest needs.”

This includes upgrades at Hong Kong’s major convention centres, AsiaWorld-Expo, where a US$77 million venue-wide renovation includes covers a new hybrid meeting facility and the world-first CLeanTech sanitisation device; and Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, which has upgraded hardware, improved technology and network connectivity, and installed advanced disinfection facilities.

To restore confidence in business travel and tourism, HKTB launched the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency earlier this year, a standardised hygiene protocol for tourism-related sectors, which now includes more than 2,800 approved operators.

HKTB is also looking to leverage trends in experiential travel to entice corporate groups back to the destination. Wong said the recently launched a “West Kowloon” neighbourhood programme, highlighting the district’s rich heritage and cultural treasures in Yau Ma Tei and Jordan, will soon be extended to include team-building experiences, themed itineraries and the use of cultural venues for private events.

As well as providing a venue rental subsidy for exhibitions and international conferences, Wong said HKTB has made funding support more flexible, especially for planners of small-scale corporate meetings and events.

Looking ahead, Wong believes the MICE segment will continue to be a growth engine for recovery, with short-haul travel throughout China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) as the main driver.

“GBA will serve Hong Kong with a good source of buyers and sellers, sponsors and attendees for conventions and exhibitions; as well as providing even richer itinerary options for incentive planners,” he said. “Under this positioning as an international hub, Hong Kong will continue to serve its significant role as a super-connector between the Mainland and international markets.”



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