The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has announced that overnight MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) visitor arrivals to Hong Kong for the first nine months of 2011 have exceeded the one million mark for the first time ever. The figure, which totalled 1,028,989, represented a 15.0% increase over the same period last year.
Strong growth was recorded from short-haul source markets. Mainland China (+19.9%) and South & Southeast Asia (+18.2%) recorded the biggest growth. The mainland was also the largest MICE visitor source market, contributing over 440,000 or 42.9% of all overnight MICE arrivals to Hong Kong.
As for the long-haul markets, notwithstanding the slowdown in the European and American economies, there was no immediate impact on the MICE arrivals, given that many of the international conferences and exhibitions held in Hong Kong were confirmed last year or even earlier. Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific was the best performer (+13.0%), followed by Europe, Africa and the Middle East (+12.1%).
HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien said; “Numerous large-scale conventions and exhibitions have already been lined up for next year, including the FDI World Dental Congress 2012, the Asia-Pacific Conference of the Junior Chamber International in 2012 and the Asian Attractions Expo 2012. Riding on these events, the HKTB will pull out all stops and work closely with the organisers to draw as many Mainland and overseas participants to Hong Kong as possible.
“We will also sustain our collaboration with the MICE and travel trade sectors to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness and appeal as a MICE destination. Just recently, we have joined a number of Lantau-based MICE and related trade partners to roll out a new campaign designed for promoting Lantau as a MICE hub. Through this campaign, we aim to attract a greater number of MICE events to the island, and generate more business for the tourism sector.”