Hong Kong pumps in money to reinvigorate local MICE businesses

that it is business as usual in the city; Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre pictured

The Hong Kong government has pledged a subsidy of over HK$1,020 million (US$130 million) to support exhibition and convention organisers and participants in the city that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

International events booked at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre will receive government subsidies on venue rental this year

Event organisers with planned exhibitions and international conventions (with over 400 participants and at least 50 per cent from outside of Hong Kong) at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) will have their venue rental cost fully subsidised.

Implementation date of this scheme, with a coverage period of 12 months, will be announced soon.

Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management), the company responsible for the daily operations of HKCEC, welcomes the move.

She said: “We appreciate the financial support from the (Hong Kong) government, which serves as a timely relief measure for the industry that has been greatly affected by the public activities in the second half of 2019 and the recent outbreak of Covid-19.

“It recognises the significant contribution of the exhibition and convention industry to the economy of Hong Kong, and sends a positive message to international event organisers that Hong Kong welcomes their return.

We are confident that the measures will encourage organisers with postponed events to confirm their new schedules, and new organisers to confirm their plans.”

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) shared that a few exhibitions and conferences originally scheduled at HKCEC between February and April 2020 have been postponed or cancelled, and the company has been working closely with event organisers to help with rescheduling plans.

It is hoped that this subsidy will ease the financial pressure on event organisers, many of which have spent extra money on marketing and logistics to retain exhibitors and ensure smooth operation of their events, expressed Lee-Müller in a press statement.

Furthermore, exhibitors and conference delegates participating in exhibitions and major conventions (with over 400 participants) organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will have half of their participation fee (subject to a cap of HK$10,000) subsidised. Again, this scheme has a 12-month coverage.

A spokesperson of AWE told TTGmice that the government’s relief measures are appreciated, and the company is looking forward to the benefits these schemes can bring to the exhibition and event industry as well as other related sectors such as retail and tourism.

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