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Travel Fairs

Post & pre-pandemic, ITE Hong Kong proven platform covering safe & big markets

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Thu, 09/16/2021 - 04:02
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In ITE2021, themes like Glamorous Camping launched and Green Tourism highlighted, which are popular in post-pandemic travel!

First held over 30 years ago the annual ITE Hong Kong, which highly international, is the city’s only travel fair! It was held successfully in 2019 despite protest marches, cancelled in 2020 due to pandemics; and held as scheduled amid closed borders in July 2021 with separate days for trade and public visitors! 

To revive the economy, more international destinations are re-opening borders to foreign tourists! Hong Kong and neighbouring cities, which are big and safe markets with strong pent up demand, likely can be their prime targets! Thus, the outlook for ITE Hong Kong 2022 is more positive! 

However, border uncertainty not going away soon! With our successful experience in 2021, we can use online and onsite services to better help onsite exhibitors and offsite advertisers in 2022!

Strongly supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, ITE which is organized by TKS, has other tourism authorities like the Hong Kong Tourism Board and trade associations like the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong as supporters!

ITE2021 results beyond expectations

The first post-pandemic edition, over 60% of its 103 exhibitors from abroad with several attractively designed official pavilions, launched a new theme pavilion on Glamorous Camping; and held some 50 well-attended trade and public seminars! In the first two days were 2544 registered trade visitors; while the two halls filled in 4 days with nearly 30000 quality visitors! 

A survey on its public visitors, which collected 4514 replies, found 60% of respondents maintain or increase travel spending in the coming year; over 80% paying more for a safer holiday, and after border restrictions lifted 21% will travel abroad within 1 month and cumulatively 69% within 6 months! 

In ITE2021, themes like Glamorous Camping launched and Green Tourism highlighted, which are popular in post-pandemic travel!  With more international exhibitors than local and well attended by quality trade and public visitors, thus, quality of ITE2021 is upheld! 

For reference, the pre-pandemic ITE 2019 used 5 halls and drew 675 exhibitors from 56 countries and regions half of which outside Asia; 11613 buyers and trade visitors with nearly 30% from China (mainland) and under 10% from other parts of Asia; and 73665 public visitors who were frequent travellers!  Specifically, 13% with 6 or more outbound holidays in past year; 47% with 3 to 5 holidays and only 2% no!

More positive Outlook for ITE2022

Hong Kong, with fewer than 12100 confirmed cases at the end of August, is widely regarded as a safe source market!  It’s big too as in 2019 it spent US$26.9 billion on outbound travel and ranked the world’s 12th largest! It’s very readily available too as the survey found there exist strong and sustainable pent up travel demand. These enhance the city’s priority as a market post-pandemic! 

Also, it is part of a much bigger and safe source market, namely China’s Greater Bay Area (the Bay), which includes Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It had in 2020 a combined GDP of US$1.67 trillion while that of Canada had GDP of US$1.60 trillion and ranked the world’s 9th largest economy! In 2019, nearly 20% of ITE’s trade visitors came from Guangdong! 

To revive the economy, more and more countries are reopening borders to international tourism. Hong Kong and the Bay can be attractive to them. 

Proven ways to better handling borders uncertainty

Successful experiences in ITE 2021 will be used in 2022 to help exhibitors better handling border uncertainty!  In 2021, TKS helped invited over 100 travel trade to attend a webinar in June, and offered various online, onsite and online plus onsite packages during ITE! 

Onsite this year, some exhibitors including official pavilions or stands cut down need to send outside staff from into Hong Kong by having staff from local offices or agents to man booth, and in their pavilion install attractive panels, photo spots, broadcast video and some even held regularly real-time online meetings between stay-home speakers and visitors onsite. 

For those “offsite” advertisers who were unable to send any staff, TKS set up for them ad panels, photo spots, and shelf-help stands; and some simply broadcasted video regularly in seminar sessions. Also, some NTOs held seminars in ITE instead of exhibiting.

TKS equipped one onsite forum with a facility for live-streaming on Facebook, which exhibitors can take turns using. Also available next year to exhibitors will be sharing facility for holding zoom meetings for stay-home speakers with onsite visitors. TKS will be flexible to help exhibitors better handling border uncertainty. 

The next ITE in 2022

The next ITE Hong Kong, which incorporates the 36th ITE (Leisure) and the 17th ITE MICE will be held June 9 to 12, 2022 at Halls 1 of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, with the first two days for trade and the last two days open to the public. 

Space rental will be kept unchanged as same as in 2019 and again, ITE 2022 will be eligible for the Convention & Exhibition (C&E) subsidy by the Hong Kong Government which TKS will share with all exhibitors by offering a 20% discount for booking on or before 30 December 2021; and 10% discount thereafter. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.