The Hong Kong government has proposed a new convention and exhibition space to be developed in Wan Chai, following a consultancy study that has predicted a shortfall of about 130,000m2 of event space during peak period in the destination by 2028.
Details shared in the chief executive’s policy address indicated that the Wan Chai Sports Ground has been earmarked for “comprehensive development in 2019 at the earliest”.
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
“Apart from convention and exhibition venues, the development proposal will comprise trendy and novel recreation and sports facilities as well as other necessary community facilities for the district, with a view to optimising land use. The Trade Development Council will conduct a feasibility study on this proposal. The government will consult the Wan Chai District Council and other stakeholders in a timely way,” noted the statement.
Hong Kong’s business event industry players have weighed in on the government’s decision.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management)’s managing director, Monica Lee-Müller, told TTGmice e-Weekly: “We hope the government will continue to communicate and engage with existing and potential local and overseas exhibition organisers to ascertain the needs of the market for the sustainable development of the industries.”
Destination Management Company, managing director, Jenny May also supported the government’s plans and expressed excitement that it would comprise recreation and sports facilities too.
Momentous Asia Travel & Events' general manager, Doris Lam, hopes that the new venue will be run by “an individual operator” and not be part of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre’s expansion.
Lam explained that the Centre has overflowing demand for major shows like toy and jewellery fairs, and the new venue might be used for them. With a different operator running the new Wan Chai venue, small and medium-sized event organisers will be given a chance to access the space.