Hong Kong expo on track for big turnout
The annual Hong Kong travel expo has received a positive response from exhibitors despite the global industry downturn following the September 11 attacks in the US, say organisers.The 16th International Travel Expo Hong Kong (ITE HK 2002) will be held on May 30-June 2 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. "Even though the September 11 incident did have a negative impact on the industry, we seem not much affected by the downturn," said Stanley Chu, chairman of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd, the organiser. He said more than 400 exhibitors from 36 countries/ regions had already committed their participation in ITE. National tourism organisations (NTOs) from Australia and Indonesia Jakarta are among the new participants while Oman rejoins the show this year, said Chu. He said some of the exhibitors had booked space for this year's event at ITE 2001 itself while several others including NTOs such as India, Korea, Macau, Philippines, Taiwan and Dubai have confirmed an expanded presence this year. Taiwan, for instance, has booked over 100 sq m of space, double than last year. The organisers have attributed the high interest in ITE 2002 to its proximity to the booming Chinese market which along with other Asian destinations has maintained growth despite the September 11 events. ITE HK 2001 drew 6,300 registered buyers and trade visitors and 522 exhibitors from 45 countries/regions. The show has continuously won support from major industry players in the region including the China National Tourism Administration, Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong Hotels Association, Macau Government Tourist Office, Guam Visitors Bureau, Japan National Tourist Organisation, Korea National Tourism Organisation, Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Malaysia and Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Pata, AACVB and SITE - HK Chapters.