Corporates going ahead with year-end parties despite economic conditions

REDUCED buying power among some Asian clients as a result of weakening currencies, and a less than desirable economic climate of late have done little to dent year-end corporate party bookings for Hong Kong hotels popular for such gatherings.

The Langham Hong Kong’s director of sales and marketing, David Fung, told TTGmice e-Weekly that forward group bookings are keeping pace with expectations, adding: “We have good (bookings) for December and had done a number of events and year-end functions. Our loyal clients have booked their annual events this year, as they had done last year. We have also acquired new clients.”

The Peninsula Hong Kong shared that it has seen a slight increase in the number of bookings and budget for year-end gatherings.

Director of catering and conference services, Vindy Lui, said: “We’ve generated more revenue from corporate events (this year-end). A few of our key corporate clients have held large-scale events, such as Moet Hennessy’s 150-year celebration and Van Cleef & Arpels’ gala dinner which unveiled the new Seven Seas jewellery collection.”

And according to Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s director of sales and marketing, Cecilia Lo, budgets for such dinner-and dance parties have not been cut.

Lo explained that clients regarded such activities as being “absolutely necessary”, as they serve to appreciate clients and to entertain and engage employees.

There are, however, some hotels whose year-end corporate event bookings have softened.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong saw fewer corporate dinner-and dance parties this year despite recording a higher overall MICE volume for 2015, noted director of sales and marketing, Kristy Lee.

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong’s clients from Europe, Japan and Australia – countries whose currencies had weakened this year – had reduced group sizes and stuck to standard menus for their year-end gatherings.

Director of catering Anna Wong said: “Clients are less inclined to upgrade the menu and beverage arrangement. We are being as flexible as possible in accommodating their budget, as long as we make a reasonable profit.”

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