More than 150 trade partners toured around new heritage site Tai Kwun today (November 5) for the launch of the new Old Town Central (OTC) MICE Guide.
The Old Town Central campaign was launched to leisure groups last year, and its success has led to print and digital versions specially designed for planners and organisers.
Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK), a division of Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) introduced the guide at the new, state-of-the-art JC Cube theatre in Tai Kwun.
The Ultimate MICE Guide to Old Town Central features five categories covering event venues, dining options, team building ideas, a scavenger hunt and a "Choose your own adventure" option spread across over 20 locations. Featuring easy, yet enriching experiences, DMCs can also make good use of the guide or simply be inspired by it.
"This approach goes beyond product development and takes a holistic experiential approach to create an all-in-one MICE solution, tailored for meeting and incentive groups, to create an engaging and authentic Hong Kong experience in Old Town Central," said Kenneth Wong, general manager of HKTB's MICE and Cruise Division.
Classes in cooking, crafts, martial arts and cultural activities emphasise teamwork and bonding, while the scavenger hunt brings groups together to search out and interact with the hidden gems of the area such as temples, tea shops and Instagram-famous backdrops.
The gamut of dining options include Michelin restaurants, vegetarian and halal-certified establishments and street food ensures everyone can be catered for, while event venues include art and heritage buildings, museums and PMQ, pedestrianised streets and more.
At the centre of OTC, Tai Kwun is perfectly placed and has all the ingredients for a spectacular MICE destination.
Stunning alfresco spaces such as The Parade Ground (from December) and Prison Yard, dining partners and various art galleries and JC Cube can be chartered for groups.
In other MICE news, the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel just opened with over 1,300sqm of event space. Within Ocean Park,, Applause Pavilion opened earlier this year, and Water World will open 2019. Hong Kong Disneyland's six-year expansion is on-going, with Ant Man set to delight audiences soon.
The Hong Kong Rewards! Programme is designed to attract more groups to the city with discounts and free experiences or products from HKTB or its trade partners.
This year the tally of hotels in the city will stand at nearly 300 with just over 83,000 rooms, anticipated to rise to 324 hotels and almost 90,000 guest rooms in 2020. Recent and upcoming openings also include The Murray Hong Kong (336 rooms), the St Regis Hong Kong (129 rooms), the Hotel Vic on the Harbour (671 rooms) and the Rosewood Hong Kong (413 rooms).
Other than Tai Kwun, other areas ideal for MICE include The Mills, a heritage building turned designer hub, currently soft opening, and West Kowloon Xiqu Centre, which will be opening in January 2019.
The High Speed Rail Link and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge are already boosting connectivity and will be useful for MICE groups. Current top performing MICE sources include mainland China, Indonesia, South Korea and India, while MEHK are keen to work more closely with Thailand next year.