$1.4 billion convention fund, mega events to attract visitors

The government will inject $1.4 billion into a program to support exhibitions and set up what has been dubbed an arts and cultural events fund, as it seeks to bring back major events and restore Hong Kong as the region’s top travel destination, chief executive John Lee said. revealed in his political speech on Wednesday.

Lee told lawmakers that funding from the convention and exhibition industry would subsidize the staging of some 200 exhibitions in the SAR over three years. It will come into effect at the end of the existing convention and exhibition industry grant scheme, set up in 2020 to support the sector during the pandemic, which has been extended until June next year.

The EC also confirmed that, “to cement Hong Kong’s status as a premier location for large-scale international C&E activities”, his administration would proceed with the expansion of the AsiaWorld-Expo Convention Center, as well as continuing work at Wan Chai North, near the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

He said the two projects would “significantly increase large-scale C&E spaces”, adding that support for the convention sector would enable local small and medium-sized businesses to attract more orders from overseas.

He told lawmakers that the Hong Kong Tourism Board would step up support for the meetings, incentive travel, convention and exhibition (MICE) industry, “in light of the developing epidemic in order to attract more high-value overnight visitors to Hong Kong.” .

Regarding the Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund, Lee said that he would “promote the organization of more international arts and cultural events in Hong Kong, taking into account the views of the Mega Arts and Cultural Events Committee, which will include industry personnel”.

He said the administration will promote artistic and cultural collaboration with the mainland, including holding a Greater Bay Area culture and arts festival in 2024, as well as events such as the annual Hong Week. Kong and the Chinese Opera Festival.

Lee said the government wants to “promote Hong Kong’s pop culture to go global” and will strive to improve the industry’s capacity in three areas: film, television and streaming. The government unit CreateHK will support collaboration between local production teams across the mainland and elsewhere in Asia.

“The government also plans to work with industry professionals to host an annual pop culture festival and is exploring the feasibility of establishing a long-term pop culture center,” Lee said.

Lee also said he plans to improve Hong Kong’s “M” branding system to support the hosting of at least 10 major international sporting events each year, with a view to further promoting the territory as a center of mega international sporting events.

The “M” branding system provides official support for major events such as the Marathon, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and the Hong Kong Golf Open.
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Last updated: 2022-10-19 HKT 13:00

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