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Hong Kong MICE Arrivals Pass One Million Milestone

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Within the first nine months of 2011, overnight MICE visitor arrivals to Hong Kong reached one million for the first time ever.

The figure, which totalled 1,028,989, represented a 15% increase over the same period last year.

Among all visitor source markets, greater growth was recorded in the short-haul regions, where steady economic development and appreciation of major currencies against the Hong Kong dollar encouraged MICE organisers, especially those of meetings and incentive travel, to select Hong Kong as their activity destination. For example, in July, the biggest battery manufacturer in India organised an incentive trip to Hong Kong for over 1,400 dealers.

The various mega conventions and exhibitions held during the third quarter also helped to boost the number of MICE visitor arrivals from both long and short-haul markets. These events included the International Society for Quality in Health Care 28th International Conference, the International Liver Cancer Association Fifth Annual Conference, the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, the Asian Seafood Exposition, the Natural Products Expo Asia, as well as Vitafoods Asia, which was held in Hong Kong for the first time.

Overall, in the first nine months of 2011, 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, and these activities are normally more resilient to economic volatility. Among all long-haul market regions, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific was the best performer (+13%), followed by Europe, Africa and the Middle East (+12.1%).

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, said Hong Kong Tourism Board Chairman, Mr James Tien. We will also sustain our collaboration with the MICE and travel trade sectors to enhance Hong Kongs 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.

See also: Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals in September 2011

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