The Hong Kong government is offering a subsidy of just over HK$1bn (USD$130m) to subsidise exhibition and convention organisers and delegates in the region.
The money is an attempt to revitalise Hong Kong’s reputation as the event capital of Asia, and offset some of the many high-profile cancelations that have occurred in the region.
Events cancelled include Art Basel Hong Kong, the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2020.
The scheme will subsidise event organisers with 100% venue rental cost, for all exhibitions and international conventions (with over 400 participants and at least 50% from outside of Hong Kong) held at the HKCEC and another major venue in Hong Kong for 12 months.
The implementation date of the scheme will be announced soon. This measure will certainly ease the financial pressure of event organisers, many of which have spent extra cost on marketing and logistics to retain exhibitors and ensure smooth operation of their events.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has welcomed the measure. Ms Monica Lee-Müller, HML’s Managing Director, said: “HML appreciates the financial support from the HKSAR Government, which serves as a timely relief measure for the industry that has been greatly affected by the public activities in the second half of 2019 and the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
“It recognises the significant contribution of the exhibition and convention industry to the economy of Hong Kong, and sends a positive message to international event organisers that Hong Kong welcomes their return. We are confident that the measures will encourage organisers with postponed events to confirm their new schedules, and new organisers to confirm their plans.”