What are the key assets of HK as a business destination and how is business tourism developing in Hong Kong? We put the question to Anthony Lau, Executive Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board.
With its strategic location, safe and business friendly environment, visa-free policy for visitors from over 170 countries and regions, and superb aviation connectivity with the region’s key financial markets, Hong Kong is recognised as the world’s premier Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) destination and business hub of Asia. Last year, we welcomed close to 2-million MICE visitors to Hong Kong, representing a 2% increase from the previous year.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Vinexpo in Hong Kong. What are your thoughts on this show?
With regards to the wine and spirits business, Hong Kong was the first duty-free wine port among major economies when all wine duties were removed in 2008, and since then, we have managed to maintain our position as one of the largest wine auction centres in the world. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Vinexpo. Since its inception in 1998, the premier wine and spirits event has become one of the most influential trade exhibitions in Asia-Pacific. The HKTB is pleased to offer our support again this year as an event partner on this remarkable occasion. We specially built a “Hong Kong Tea House” booth for all visitors attending the event to taste some of the city’s traditional treats, including egg tarts and milk tea, and to discover some of the diverse authentic experiences Hong Kong has to offer.
What can we expect in the coming year, or what could change the face of tourism here?
Before the end of this year, we will see the completion and commencement of operations of two major infrastructure projects – the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge and the Express Rail Link Hong Kong Section – which will put Hong Kong within one hour’s reach of the fast-developing Greater Bay Area and connected with the 20,000 km-long national high-speed rail network, which covers most major mainland cities. These exciting developments will further strengthen Hong Kong’s unrivalled position as the super-connector to the high-growth Mainland China market and reinforce the city’s edge as the premier business hub in Asia. The HKTB will continue to build on Hong Kong’s strengths and work closely with our trade partners to fuel the further growth of the MICE business of Hong Kong.
Photo: Anthony Lau, Executive Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board