India has been identified as one of the primary source markets to fuel the Hongkong Tourism Board’s (HKTB) latest initiative Meetings and Exhibitions Hongkong (MEHK).
The details of MEHK were announced yesterday as the city’s tourism officials kicked off a campaign to enhance the city’s profile as a global meetings, exhibitions and incentives hub against the backdrop of a volatile economic environment.
Anthony Lau, executive director of HKTB, said the recent opening up of Indian skies had resulted in more traffic from the Subcontinent stopping over in Hongkong enroute to the US. “The number of flights from India has increased to 75 a week,” he reported.
“We are looking to expand our presence in India with an office in Delhi, focusing priority in major cities, before moving to the other parts. Investing more in India is definitely going to happen within the next year.”
Allen Ha, chief executive officer of AsiaWorld-Expo, said: “We are welcoming Indian business here in AsiaWorld-Expo with many offers for events in 2009.”
This was the second time in the week the Indian market took the spotlight. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which, since 2003, has been wooing the Indian government to approve an open-skies pact finally made the breakthrough (see News, 11/11/08). This means airlines from the 10-member nations, among them, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Singapore, will be allowed to fly into any Indian city.
China corporates were another prime target of MEHK.
Said Ha of Asia-World Expo: “With the influx of companies from the Mainland, we are looking to position Hongkong as a neutral platform for multicultural events.”
To bolster the incentive sector in strategic markets like India and China, HKTB executives said marketing specialists would work with multinational companies to tailor programmes to fit their networking needs in Hongkong.
In the past year, Hongkong has hosted over 1,300 corporate gatherings, representing HK$11 billion (about US$130 million) in revenue from events related activities.
For more details, visit www.mehongkong.com.