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Drop off in Hong Kong numbers ‘less than expected’, despite US-China trade war

The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) has released results from its 2018 survey of the exhibition activities in Hong Kong, which, despite some drops in visitor numbers, were hailed as ‘a strong foundation’ by the association.

The period under review by the survey covered the calendar year 2018 and showed the number of ‘trade’ and ‘trade and consumer’ exhibitions remaining ‘steady’, with a slight decrease in participants.

In 2018, a total of 138 exhibitions (over 2,000sqm) were held in Hong Kong, of these 68 were trade exhibitions, 20 were trade and consumer exhibition, while 50 were consumer exhibitions. 

The survey is based on the data collected from 78 respondents out of 88 trade and trade and consumer exhibitions. Consumer exhibitions were not included in the survey.

In total, the HKECIA says over 69,000 exhibiting companies and more than 2.3m visitors participated in the trade and trade and consumer exhibitions in Hong Kong last year.  

The number of exhibiting companies fell back 3.9%. The numbers from Hong Kong, international and Mainland China dropped by single digits whereas the numbers from Regional destinations rose by 11.7%. 




In terms of visitor numbers, there was an overall fall of 1.7% with all regions down in number apart from Mainland China, from whereas visitor numbers were flat, barely up 0.3%.

The drop off was attributed due to US-China trade war which started in the beginning of 2018; higher tariffs imposed by both countries have seen reducing demand for their products.

Chairman of the HKECIA, Stuart Bailey, said the Hong Kong exhibition industry had a strong foundation, although economic data and the survey results reflected that the challenges faced had been increasing. “Hong Kong remains a favoured destination for exhibiting companies and visitors alike. The drop-off is in fact less than might have been anticipated.”

Bailey said he was confident Hong Kong’s exhibition industry could face the headwinds and ride out the storm. 

“We are fortunate that there are also new opportunities for us to grasp. The recently released Outline Development Plan for the Greater Bay Area reaffirms Hong Kong’s leading position in the exhibition industry and gives a clear direction of consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international high-end convention, exhibition and sourcing centre,” he said, “building close ties with our counterparts from other cities in the Greater Bay Area while exporting Hong Kong’s expertise in organising high quality exhibitions will bring benefit to all parties.”

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