Hong Kong's business hotels dangle corporate carrot

New funds, new hope for MICE stakeholders looking to a global rebound. 

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong harbour-view-verandah
MICE stakeholders welcome HK$765 million support from 2021/22 budget, hopeful that high-spending groups will return soon. Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

With a renewed HK$765 million (US$98.62 million) government-backed support package for the travel industry comes fresh hope for business hotels looking forward to a global rebound.

“It’s great news for all segments in the travel industry and a recovery opportunity for the MICE sector... as it could eventually draw global attention and interest," said a spokesperson of Shangri-La Group (Hong Kong).

The hotel is already preparing corporate packages for prospective outbound MICE clients, tailoring bespoke packages to target specific destinations. “We will continue to build a network with supportive destination clients, professional conference organisers, third party event companies and local destination management companies to maximise inbound business opportunities”, as well as collaborating with HKTB to promote the destination's attractiveness.

Shane Pateman, managing director of Cordis, Hong Kong shared that while there will be more demand for in-person meetings, the process will be gradual. "Leading up to that hotels still have a role to play in facilitating virtual and hybrid meetings [so] being able to help customers embrace new technologies is something we have been up-skilling our team on."

Still, Pateman added that the hotel is "delighted to know the Hong Kong government is planning short-term and long-term strategies to speed up the recovery of HK’s travel trade market".

Likewise, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong's area director of commerce, Louisa Wu remains hopeful that, following border reopening, "mega events [will be able] to diversify to areas such as entertainment and sports to expand MICE business”.

But in the meantime, the focus is still on the domestic market. Mandarin Oriental's recent Spend-to-Redeem Staycation encourages consumers to spend on retail or dining in order to receive an incentive or a hotel staycation.

“We are also targeting local MICE businesses such as incentive groups, where we have launched our Mindful Meetings, which is dedicated to the personal wellbeing of meeting participants... we want them to feel refreshed, happy and focused, which increases productivity and success," Wu explained.

The hotel also has a virtual and webcast meeting package for clients to stay connected.

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