Source from: www.chinaview.cn Date: 8/24/2009
Despite the challenging global economic climate in the latter half of last year, Hong Kong is exhibition industry fared better than expected, with a relatively mild decrease in trade visitors during the year, according to an annual market survey released by the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) on Monday.
As shown in the survey, the number of trade visitors in 2008 totaled over 551,000, falling by 9.4 percent, compared to 2007.
"Given the extreme economic circumstances facing most world economies in the second half of the year, the statistic is an encouraging proof that Hong Kong remains a sourcing hub of global importance as compared to a drop of some over 10 to 25 percent in other parts of the world," said HKECIA in the report.
What is more, the number of trade visitors from the Chinese mainland declined by only 3 percent with over 170,000 recorded in 2008, while the numbers of visitors from companies based in Australia, New Zealand recorded over 174,000, decreasing by 13 percent compared to 2007.
"These strong visitor numbers from the Chinese mainland are a powerful reminder that Hong Kong plays a pivotal role in connecting China to the rest of the world," the report said.
The report also mentioned that the net square meter age occupied by exhibitors in 2008 declined by just 2.44 percent compared to 2007. And the number of exhibitions occupying a gross area of more than 1,819 square meters actually increased 1.05 percent to 96 in 2008.
"These survey findings are an encouraging reminder that Hong Kong remains Asia is premier sourcing hub and a truly global marketplace," remarked Stanley Chu, HKECIA Chairman, adding that with government and industry support, he was confident that the industry will quickly come out of the current recession and once again take the lead as a major engine of economic growth.
The HKECIA survey rated number of exhibiting companies and visits, space occupied and stand revenues at major exhibitions held in Hong Kong from January to December 2008. The HKECIA distributed the questionnaire to 55 organizing companies which ran110 exhibitions in Hong Kong across the calendar year. A total of 96 questionnaires were completed.