UNWTO recently projected the world’s tourism industry this year will grow by 3 to 4 percent. In the first two months this year, outbound China and Hong Kong grew by double digits. China’s tourism institute forecasts outbound of the country this year will grow by 11 percent to 54 million.
The tourism industry, particularly China and including Hong Kong, is again spearheading recovery though various economies are yet to recover fully from the financial crisis. ITE & MICE is also seeing progress on various fronts such as new official and theme pavilions and expansions by past exhibitors.
New official pavilions are expected this year from Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. Confirmations or reservations have been received from the tourism authorities of Croatia; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Italy; Israel; Prague; and Russia. Indeed, Czech will have two pavilions this year, respectively, by the national tourism authority and Prague. A few more new official pavilions, which are still in discussion, may be realized, and the improving market sentiments help.
The largest expansion this year will go to the Taiwan pavilion by the Taiwan Visitors Association, which nearly doubled its size to 200 sqm. Present also is another Taiwan pavilion on medical tourism, which is organized by the Taipei World Trade Center. These two pavilions will bring the total size of participation from Taiwan this year to nearly 300 sqm, and puts Taiwan to be among the five largest pavilions, which also includes China, Japan, Macau, and Hong Kong.
In recent years, ITE & MICE expanded to five halls from two in four years. A key factor has been the substantial expansions by past exhibitors. Despite the financial crisis, official pavilions such as those from Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and Yemen have taken very significant expansions in ITE & MICE last year. All of them will at least be maintaining their scale and some may even continue expanding this year.
The new theme pavilion this year, which is more related to eco-tourism, is that of Geo-parks in Hong Kong. These world-class, geo-formations are located in several districts of Hong Kong and under the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD), who all join forces to stage the pavilion. Understandably, some local cultures and tourism facilities will also be included. Hong Kong, too, will have two pavilions and another one by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
ITE & MICE has, in recent years, successfully introduced several popular travel themes, which include MICE, cruise, wellness, and medical tourism. While there are designated areas, official pavilions are also welcomed to have one big stand including different themes and related exhibitors to stay with their official pavilions. There were already over 100 exhibitors targeting the MICE market and over 30 wellness and medical tourism exhibitors at the expo last year. Roughly, they accounted for 30 percent of all exhibitors. While they leverage on each other and there are great synergies, these themes will have their own unique visitor promotions, and MICE, in particular, its own invitations to corporate visitors and the event industry.
The coming ITE & MICE will be held from June 10 to 13, 2010 at Halls 1A to 1E in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center. With the venue having completed its expansion, the five halls of ITE & MICE have all been located on the same floor since last year, which greatly facilitates all participants.
For more details about the expo, please visit the trade websites of www.itehk.com and www.itehkmice.com . For inquiries, please contact TKS, the organizer, by email at [email protected] or call (852) 3155 0600.