Heads of International Associations experience the Hong Kong Advantage

Travel News Asia Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Forty-five senior office bearers and executives of major international organisations and associations discovered the many advantages offered by Hong Kong as a convention destination when they attended the Hong Kong Meeting Your Choice executive visitation programme, organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) on 2-5 February.

Fully supported by the Government and the tourism industry, the programme offered the delegates a platform for exchanges and networking with local counterparts, with highlights including an experience-sharing panel discussion with two international association office-bearers based in Hong Kong, visits to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo, and a meeting and mini-mart with conference service providers. The visiting VIPs gained a thorough appreciation of the citys strategic role as a platform to access Mainland China and the Asia Pacific region, and experienced for themselves Hong Kongs exceptional facilities, infrastructure and professional services. They also learned about Hong Kongs local culture through educational and recreational activities, such as tai chi classes.

Commenting on the programme, Mr Philip Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Counselling Association, said, My purpose was not solely to look at Hong Kong, but also to link up with other professionals here, and without the HKTB it wouldnt have happened. We appreciate that the local professionals have taken the time to meet us over the weekend, during which we reached a verbal commitment to hold the first-ever Asia Pacific Rim counselling conference here in Hong Kong, in June or July next year. Logistically, what probably would have taken us 12 months we were able to achieve in just a weekend.

Mr Antony Wood, Executive Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat of the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA, whose organisation has already staged two conferences in Hong Kong, said, Hong Kong is a major attraction for us. Its greatest assets are its physical presence, combined with its obvious energy, and its geographical position as the gateway to China, and the crossover between Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. On top of that, the other positive is that the conference facilities are absolutely world-class.

We were given a level of access that we could never have normally enjoyed, which built up a picture of Hong Kong as an attractive place to bring people for a conference. The whole programme has been second to none fantastic! Mr Wood added.

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