Hong Kong expo aims to be bigger

The crowds at Hong Kong expo this year.

Hong Kong's premier tourism and travel event aims to be bigger and better next year, building on its record-breaking success this year.

The 16th International Travel Expo Hong Kong (ITE HK 2002) will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 30-June 2 next year.

This year's expo, held in June, attracted a record 6,300 trade visitors and 52,000 general visitors.

ITE HK 2001 featured various tailor-made programs to boost information exchange and business communications in the industry.

"Buyers Meet Sellers Session continued to provide excellent opportunity for international exhibitors and buyers to initiate business cooperation," said Stanley Chu, the chairman of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd, the organisers of the event.

"The concurrent seminars on outbound travel, corporate travel and presentations on information technology for the travel industry received good attendance too."

Visitors to the expo were loaded with travel information from 45 countries/regions and 105 national and regional tourism organisations spread over an area of 10,000 sq m.

Overseas exhibitors this year included Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chicago, Dubai, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, India, France, Finland, Guam, Idaho, Israel, Italy, Illinois, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, Maldives, Malaysia, Macau, Spain, South Africa, Russia, Poland, Singapore, Netherlands, New Jersey, New York, Palau, Philippines, Taiwan, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UK, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Like previous editions, travel seminars providing the latest travel tips were once again the most welcomed program.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted during the 2001 expo found that 49 per cent of the respondents adopted "Free Independent Travel" (FIT) and 51 per cent of the respondents joined travel tours in their last trips.

With percentage of FIT and travel tours almost breaking even, the result suggests that FIT challenges the traditional way of joining travel tours to become a new travel format for Hong Kong holiday-makers, the organisers said.

"It seems that more travellers now prefer travelling in a more free style way, and keen on self-arrangement of air tickets and hotel accommodation," they said.

The survey interviewed about 1,100 visitors of ITE HK 2001 with more than 98 per cent being Hong Kong residents. The survey also revealed growing expectations of people from traveling besides the traditional sightseeing and shopping.