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Hong Kong trade exhibitions and conferences continue largely unaffected by protests

Hong Kong trade exhibitions and conferences continue largely unaffected by protests
August 28, 2019

The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) has issued assurances to all participants, buyers and exhibitors attending trade exhibitions and conferences in Hong Kong that events are running smoothly and without interruption.

Despite nearly three months of mass pro-democracy protest, HKECIA has advised that the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), are accessible by foot, private cars, freight trucks and public transportation including subway, and are fully operational.

HKECIA Chairman Stuart Bailey stated “business is as usual in Hong Kong. At this time we are seeing that major exhibitions and conferences in Hong Kong are running without incident or interruption. Exhibition and conference events were not targeted for disruption. Hong Kong is definitely still open for business and safe to travel.

“Of course visitors should take extra care and be mindful of areas in which protests might be taking place and take note of any special traffic arrangements such as temporary road closures and disruptions on public transport. But it’s worth remembering that Hong Kong is consistently ranked one of the safest cities in the world.”

With the June to August period the peak months for consumer exhibitions in Hong Kong events such as the annual Hong Kong Book Fair were attended by nearly 1 million visitors over seven show days.

The annual trade and consumer exhibition, the Food Expo, and three concurrent exhibitions which utilise all the exhibition halls at the HKCEC was held as scheduled during 15th to 19th August with no interruption despite the staging of a protest rally on 18th August.

The four exhibitions brought together more than 2,100 exhibitors and welcomed a total of nearly 450,000 visitors.

There were cancellations of flights departing and arriving Hong Kong on 12th and 13th August due to operation disruption of the Hong Kong International Airport. Smooth operations of the airport terminals and normal flight movements have been resumed since 14th August.

Currently, the Airport Authority Hong Kong has obtained an interim injunction to restrain persons from unlawfully obstructing the airport’s operation. At the same time, access control at the airport terminal buildings has been implemented. Passengers are reminded to arrive early for the relevant checks.

As of yesterday, the Seafood Expo Asia (SEA), originally scheduled for 3rd to 5th September at the HKCEC, is the only international exhibition that has been cancelled. Other international trade exhibitions scheduled for early September will go on as planned. They are: Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong X Gourmet Asia 2019 (3rd to 5th September), Natural Organic Asia 2019 (3rd to 5th September), Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair (3rd to 7th September), Asia Fruit Logistica (4th to 6th September) with Asiafruit Congress on 3rd September, and CENTRESTAGE (4th to 7th September).

Further statements updating international participants will be issued by the HKECIA should the current situation changes.

Images: HKCEC (top) and AsiaWorld-Expo on the cover of Australasian Leisure Management (below).

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