Starting August 25, 2022, international business visitors heading to Hong Kong who receive an Amber Code after four days of hotel quarantine and medical surveillance, will be allowed to attend B2B trade exhibitions and conferences.
The Red and Amber Codes were first introduced as part of the Vaccine Pass on August 9, which has been operating smoothly while reducing the incidence of high-risk individuals infecting others.
However, these overseas visitors still have to comply with requirements such as pre-registration procedures, and mandatory mask-wearing at all times during the event, except in instances such as delivering a speech.
In a statement, the Hong Kong government explained that this move was because business events and related activities were different from other mass group gatherings.
This recent development was warmly welcomed by the travel trade.
Corporate Travel Management, CEO Asia, Larry Lo, said: “MICE and tradeshows are very important to the tourism industry as they help to create jobs, stimulate the local economy, support hotels and tourism operators, as well as showcase the destination to an international audience.
“We look forward to welcoming our international visitors back, (but hope to eventually see Hong Kong) axe its isolation restrictions in line with other countries.”
Similarly, a spokesperson from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) thanked the government for listening to industry feedback.
The spokesperson said: “We welcome this decision, and we will continue to communicate with the government to implement quarantine-free measures and come up with a clear roadmap to rebuild the confidence of organisers, overseas exhibitors, and buyers in Hong Kong’s reputation as the Trade Fair Capital of Asia.”
The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association’s chairman, Stuart Bailey, indicated that the association is “grateful” that the government has listened to the industry’s calls, and is a “step in the right direction”.
However, Bailey noted: “As the rest of the world has opened up to hassle-free, fully-open borders, it remains to be seen how many people will be willing to visit Hong Kong rather than one of our regional rivals to attend a conference or exhibition.”