Mega exhibitions may move away from Hong Kong

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Those in the exhibition and convention industry said they may move mega exhibitions from Hong Kong to other areas with laxer quarantine measures.

The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association surveyed its members in June and found 76 percent were planning to move international exhibitions abroad.

They are considering destinations such as Singapore and European countries. Currently, non-residents from high risk countries – including United Kingdom and the United States – are banned from entering Hong Kong.

Vaccinated Hongkongers who return from those countries have to undergo 21-day quarantine.

Those from a list of Group B countries can only enter Hong Kong if they are fully vaccinated, and have to undergo 14-day quarantine.

Exhibition veteran Cheung Shui-kwai said Hong Kong used to organize 170 international trade shows a year, including mega shows for jewelry, watches and toys.

But since February last year, 136 shows have been postponed or canceled. Only 50 local shows were organized.

He said the government earmarked HK$600 million to help the convention and exhibition industry, a big part of which goes to rental subsidies for organizing exhibitions.

He said the measure points at the wrong direction, as a lot of exhibitors cannot organize any shows at all during the pandemic and could not benefit.

Nevertheless, he wants the government to extend subsides for another six months until December next year as more shows go back on track.