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Hong Kong wins bid to host ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006

Travel News Asia 4 June 2004

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has warmly welcomed Thursday's announcement that the city has been chosen to host the 2006 ITU TELECOM WORLD exhibition and forum, describing it as "wonderful news for Hong Kong and its tourism industry".

HKTB Executive Director Clara Chong noted that ITU TELECOM WORLD was one of the world's largest and most prestigious international events and that Hong Kong had faced very keen competition for the hosting rights. "This is the first time in the event's 30-year history that it has been held outside Geneva, so it's a great honour for Hong Kong to be chosen," she commented. "This will be the largest single event the city has ever hosted and ITU's decision lifts Hong Kong into a new league as an international conventions and exhibitions destination. It also provides powerful recognition of our city's ability to stage major, world-class events. 

"Winning the hosting rights is a great tribute to more than 18 months of hard work by all our partners in Government and the tourism and exhibition sectors in putting together such an irresistible proposal."

Ms Chong said there were two major aspects on which the tourism industry could capitalise. "Firstly, the event runs for eight days and could bring 100,000 overseas visitors to Hong Kong from all over the world, securing valuable extra business for our hotel, retail, catering, transport and leisure sectors. We believe we can use this opportunity not only to attract business visitors, but also to encourage them to extend their stay and bring their families. Between now and 2006, we will work closely with our partners in all these different sectors to gain additional leverage from this major event and maximise its economic benefits to the community.

"Secondly, Hong Kong's success in securing an event of this magnitude takes our reputation for conventions and exhibitions to new heights, and will capture the attention of event organisers worldwide. It will help us demonstrate to other major international organisations that Hong Kong is a truly unbeatable conventions and exhibitions venue in terms of location, infrastructure, professionalism and experience, as well as its international culture.

"These are all core strengths that make Hong Kong such an attractive location for major events. Another is our strategic advantage as a hub and meeting place for doing business with China. We are pleased to learn that a significant factor in the choice of Hong Kong was its accessibility to Mainland China and the vast market potential this offers the telecoms industry, especially now China has joined the WTO."

Most parts of the event will be staged at the new AsiaWorld-Expo facility adjacent to Hong Kong International Airport - one of several important new tourism projects coming on stream in the next three years which will help make Hong Kong even more attractive to event organisers and delegates. "We will have Hong Kong Disneyland, the Tung Chung Cable Car and Hong Kong Wetland Park all in place by 2006," Ms Chong noted. "We hope these new attractions will encourage a lot of exhibitors and delegates to bring their spouses and families with them."

Hong Kong has previously hosted the regional ITU TELECOM ASIA events in 2000 and 2002, each of which attracted more than 30,000 delegates. However, this will be the first time since its inception in 1971 that the triennial TELECOM WORLD exhibition and forum has been staged anywhere else in the world but Geneva, the home base of the ITU (International Telecommunications Union).

"The ITU's decision is a wonderful reward for Hong Kong's hard work and commitment but does not signal the end of our efforts - in fact, the real hard work starts now," Ms Chong added. "Over the next two years we will step up our co-ordinated efforts with the tourism industry to ensure that the TELECOM WORLD 2006 is the most successful event ever: successful for the ITU, successful for its exhibitors and delegates, and above all, successful for the people and the economy of Hong Kong."

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