The Hong Kong Government is intensifying efforts to boost its mega event economy by establishing an inter-departmental coordination group chaired by deputy financial secretary, Michael Wong.
Working alongside the secretary for culture, sports, and tourism, this initiative aims to actively attract world-class mega events to Hong Kong, with key players such as the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and the Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) collaborating in the scouting process.
Wong emphasises a proactive approach will be taken to engage potential event organisers globally. This means that HKTB, HKTDC, and ETOs will play a vital role in discussions with organisers, assessing an event’s feasibility, and ensuring necessary support arrangements. The trio will also serve as the primary point of contact, facilitating discussions, and submitting recommendations to the government.
Pang Yiu-kai, chairman of HKTB, emphasised the importance of coordination and response speed, stating that efficient collaboration and a friendly approach could influence mega events to choose Hong Kong over other cities.
Currently, over 80 mega events are anticipated to happen in 1H2024, spanning cultural and arts, sports, finance and economy, innovation and technology, and conferences and exhibitions. Notable events include Inter Miami CF’s visit on February 4; Cathay International Chinese New Year Night Parade on the first day of the Lunar New Year; the inaugural LIV Golf; Art March; Hong Kong Sevens Pop Culture Festival; and the UIM E1 World Championship Grand Prix.
In response to this government’s initiative, the Mega Arts and Cultural Events Committee – established by the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau last year – will host several upcoming events. Supported by the Mega Events Committee Fund, upcoming events include Chubby Hearts Hong Kong created by renowned British designer Anya Hindmarch (February 14 to 24); A Path To Glory – Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial, a large-scale sculpture showcase at Edinburgh Place (March 15 to July 2); and ComplexCon Hong Kong 2024 at AsiaWorld-Expo, the first time the international pop culture event will be held outside the US (March 22 to 24).
Nina Hospitality’s managing director, Simon Manning, believes that the government’s strategy to lure and host more major international events will stimulate economic growth and showcase Hong Kong’s vibrant cultural scene, creating a “win-win situation” for visitors and the economy.