Hong Kong plays the long game
The MICE sector in Hong Kong enjoyed steady growth in 2017, with arrivals to the city rising by 1.9% to reach 1.93 million for the year. Most of that increase was driven by mainland and short-haul visitors, comprising 51.2% and 27.8% of the visitor profile respectively.
Last year was also fertile ground for Hong Kong in the bidding stakes, securing 30 major events for the year including a range of large-scale medical conferences. The biggest of these was the 33rd Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2018 held earlier in the year which attracted over 15,000 medical professionals from all over the world.
MICE infrastructure has also been on the move in Hong Kong, with a host of hotels opening during the year and offering large meeting spaces. The 546-room Kerry Hotel boasts extensive meeting facilities that include 17 separate event spaces. Opening to the public late 2017 was the Harbour City Ocean Terminal expansion which offers a large lobby area equipped for 1,000 guests to attend product launches and other events.
The major incentives for meeting planners to host events in Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, include the city’s politically stable environment, its allure as an economic gateway to mainland China, and its blend of both business and leisure attractions on offer.