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Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association

Hong Kong`s exhibition industry roars in 2006 with record growth

Hong Kong’s exhibition industry enjoyed extraordinary growth in business in 2006, according to the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association’s (HKECIA) annual exhibition survey. The…

Hong Kong’s exhibition industry enjoyed extraordinary growth in business in 2006, according to the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association’s (HKECIA) annual exhibition survey. The survey results showed impressive growth in net space occupied by exhibition stands, number of exhibitions and visits. More importantly, the survey results reaffirm the potential of further expansion and diversification of Hong Kong’s wide-ranging exhibition portfolio and continuous growth of established events.

Key Survey Findings:

Net exhibition metreage occupied by exhibiting companies rose by 50%, the highest rate seen in the industry since 1997* while total exhibition stand rental revenues rose to HK$2.6 billion (US$332.4 million). The total number of exhibitions occupying over 1,819 sqm in gross exhibition area jumped to 92 from 66 in 2005, an almost 40% increase year-on-year. Equally, the number of trade exhibitions rose to 65 from 40 representing a substantial 62.5% increase on the previous year.

The robust growth in net exhibition metreage and number of exhibitions resulted from the first full year of operation of AsiaWorld-Expo offering additional 70,000 square metres in 2006 for new exhibitions as well as expanding and new exhibitions hosted at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The survey also showed continued growth among current established exhibitions, demonstrating the sustainability of Hong Kong’s exhibitions.

The number of exhibiting companies grew to almost 62,000, an almost 50% increase on the previous year. The driving force came from Mainland Chinese exhibitors, which surged by 139% in 2006, a clear indication that despite many similar exhibitions in Mainland China, companies still prefer to Hong Kong’s quality shows, facilities and visitor profile. Exhibiting companies also increased from Hong Kong (by 25%), from the Asia-Pacific region (by more than 50%), and the rest of the world (by 11%).

Matching with the growth of exhibiting companies, the total number of visits to exhibitions continued to rise, topping 5.2 million in 2006. Overall visits from outside Hong Kong rose to over 600,000 in 2006, with over 210,000 from the Asia-Pacific region (a 43% increase on the previous year), over 160,000 from Mainland China (a 24% increase) and over 220,000 from the rest of the world (a 20% increase). This demonstrates the recognition of Hong Kong as the effective platform to source products and services and to tap into the Asia-Pacific regional market.

“The continued expansion of Hong Kong’s wide-ranging exhibition portfolio is particularly important. Local, regional and international exhibition organisers understand Hong Kong’s competitive edge, which includes our quality venue facilities and exhibition services, international connectivity, visa-free policy for over 170 jurisdictions, the ease of doing business and our strategic position at the heart of Asia”, “In spite of increasing competition from the neighbouring Pearl River Delta and the wider Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong remains Asia’s Trade Fair Capital,” said HKECIA Chairman, Mr Stanley Chu.

New exhibitions with new themes held in 2006 included building materials and construction equipment, property investment, maritime, upholstery textiles, environmental protection, furniture, pet accessory and aqua accessory, and broadband.

“This survey demonstrates clearly that Hong Kong is more than simply a major gateway to China. It is a unique sourcing hub in the Asia-Pacific region bringing together regional and international buyers and quality exhibitors. It is also a springboard for Mainland Chinese enterprises to venture into the global marketplace as evident in the significant increase in Mainland Chinese exhibitors. The international exposure to quality buyers offered by trade fairs in Hong Kong is unmatched by any other city in Asia and it remains a major selling point for our fairs now and in the future,” stressed Mr Chu.

Hong Kong’s exhibition industry contributes billions of dollars in economic benefit to the local economy every year and the Economic Impact Study 2006 to quantify the contribution by the industry, based on 2006 survey figures, will be available later in June. The Economic Impact Study will provide valuable data for members, associated industries and concerned government departments.

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