International exhibitors’ average spend 75 per cent more than general overnight tourists
The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) released findings from the latest biennial Economic Impact Study gauging the contribution of Hong Kong’s exhibition industry to the city’s economy.
The Study also reaffirmed the significant economic benefits of the exhibition industry to the city, with international exhibitors spent on average 75 per cent more than general overnight tourists in 2016.
Total expenditure generated by the exhibition industry remained at the same level as that of 2014 despite continuing global economic uncertainty. Just over half of the total expenditure generated by the industry, HK$26.5 billion (US$3.4 billion), represented direct expenditure made by visitors, exhibitors and organisers.
International exhibitors and exhibition visitors are high-value groups by comparison with general overnight tourists, according to the Study. It shows that international exhibitors and exhibition visitors continued to significantly outspend general overnight tourists, on average spending around 75 per cent and 66 per cent more respectively in 2016.
From 2014 to 2016 the average spending of overnight tourists coming to Hong Kong declined quite significantly, by 17 per cent. By contrast, the Study shows that the average spending of international exhibitors and exhibition visitors, while also declining, fell by less than that for overnight tourists, at 10 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. This reinforces the fact that business travellers attracted to Hong Kong by the exhibition industry are high-value individuals who are important contributors to the economy.
Hong Kong’s government also benefits directly and to a high level from the exhibition industry, according to the Study. In 2016, the fiscal benefits contributed by the exhibition industry through the various taxes imposed by the government on exhibition activities and participants amounted to HK$1.9 billion (US$244.2 million).
“This latest data comes as a timely reminder of the importance of the exhibition industry to Hong Kong, at a time when decisions need to be made about the support it is given going ahead,” said Stuart Bailey, chairman of the HKECIA. “We did expect to see a drop in some areas as the global economy has not yet fully rebounded.
“The findings clearly show the massive benefits delivered at the levels of cash spending, employment opportunities, and spin-off effects for related businesses and supporting industries, and for government income. We must do our best to secure international exhibitors and exhibition visitors who are proven high spenders, and to ensure that Hong Kong continues to have the capabilities to attract and host large and significant exhibitions in the years to come.”