ITE Hong Kong 2021 successfully concluded amid international borders closure

 Thursday, August 12, 2021 

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Rather unexpectedly, the first post pandemic edition of ITE Hong Kong 2021, the city’s only travel fair with strong international presence, was held successfully as scheduled from July 29 to August 1 at halls 1B & C of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

With closed borders almost everywhere including the host city, it is reasonable not to expect ITE this year could be held! In fact, the annual ITE saw its edition in 2020 cancelled due to pandemic! That it was able to be held this year with comparative successes, in our view, reflect some in the travel trade and travellers are prepared to take action at the soonest to speed up tourism recovery.

Understandably, ITE2021 is much smaller than in a normal year, but quality maintained. For examples, it has more outside and overseas exhibitors than from locally; presence of destinations popular to the city’s travellers; attractively designed stands and special displays; new themes, exhibitors and special displays; and total some 50 seminars many by KOLs, etc.

Our honour that Mrs. Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive (CE) of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, again sent this year her Message to welcome ITE participants!  (Click HERE for the Message from CE)

Our Guest of Honor, Mr. Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong SAR officiated the opening of ITE 2021 on July 29. Other honorable guests on the stage included Ms. Vivian Sum, JP, Commissioner for Tourism HKSAR; and the Hon Yiu Si-wing, Legislative Councilor of HKSAR (Tourism sector) etc.

ITE Hong Kong 2021, which incorporate the 35th ITE (Leisure) and the 16th ITE MICE, is organized by TKS and continues receiving the strong support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong etc. as Supporters.

There are several factors affecting visitor attendance. Buyers and trade visitors from outside or overseas, who often account for some 40% of visitors in trade days, could not attend this year due to border restrictions. Social Distancing regulations on exhibitions tightened week before opening, so halls could only be half full instead of 75% of the capacity. Many employees in travel trade been on no-pay leave.

ITE2021 has separate admission policy and session for trade and public visitors.  In Day 1 and Day 2 morning, admission only by registration and successfully registered buyers and trade visitors given badge allowing unlimited entry in these two whole days. For the remaining sessions and days, visitors can pay for admission.

Attending ITE2021 were 2544 local buyers and trade visitors, among them 63.7% from travel trade and 36.3% from corporation and MICE; and 27106 public visitors.

However, exhibitors satisfied with the traffic flow and also on enquiries, business discussions, sale leads with some even report making deals. In fact, our in-house surveys on ITE trade or public visitors and many public surveys consistently found strong pent up travel demand in Hong Kong.

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