Published: 12:59, January 28, 2024 | Updated: 18:04, February 25, 2024
Yeung: Govt to highlight HK's status as major event capital
By Wang Zhan

Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung delivers a speech during the media launch of “Tatler XFEST Hong Kong Team vs Inter Miami CF” at The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong on Jan 11, 2024.  (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government intends to promote the city as a major event capital with over 80 mega events slated in first half of the year, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said Sunday.

Speaking to members of the media after a radio program on Sunday morning, Yeung said the planned mega events would help boost the city’s economy, particularly its tourism sector, while showcasing Hong Kong’s strengths as a major event capital.

Over 80 mega events will be held in the first half of 2024, covering culture and art, sports, finance, and trade exhibitions

“In terms of economic benefits, of course, the direct economic benefits will be the number of tourists coming to attend these mega events. That will bring a lot of other incomes relating to, for example, the accommodation, as well as their spending in Hong Kong,” Yeung said.

“But more important is the mega events would bring a lot of related management, administration, organization to come, as well as help the promotion of Hong Kong as a major event capital, which I think will also be beneficial to Hong Kong in the long term,” he added.

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Over 80 mega events will be held in the first half of 2024, covering culture and art, sports, finance, and trade exhibitions.

Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun said on Friday that the HKSAR government will take a proactive approach to draw more mega events into Hong Kong.

He said the Tourism Board will make use of its existing network, work with the Trade Development Council and the government’s economic and trade offices, and identify mega events that could be staged in Hong Kong.

The Tourism Board earlier announced that Hong Kong saw 34 million visitor arrivals in 2023, about 4 million of whom visited in December.

The Chinese mainland remained the largest visitor source market for the territory while Southeast Asian markets recovered the most quickly after the pandemic.

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Visitor arrivals from the Philippines and Thailand in December reached 116 percent and 106 percent of pre-pandemic levels, respectively, the board said.

By travel purpose, the number of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) travelers recovered to about 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels, surpassing the leisure segment and becoming the fastest recovering segment.

Overnight visitors accounted for half the travelers, a higher proportion than before the pandemic, while the average length of stay was 3.6 nights, which was also longer than before COVID-19 struck.