, Hong Kong
Photo from HKECIA

Exhibition numbers in Hong Kong rise 30% in 2023

2023 figures were still behind pre-pandemic levels.

Exhibitions held in Hong Kong increased in 2023, up 30% from 2022. According to the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA), there were 125 large-scale events in the city last year.

Of these, 73 were under the “Trade” and “Trade and Consumer” category, up from 40 in late 2022.

Attendees at these exhibitions also increased, rising by over 400% to over 45,000 in 2023 from under 9,000.

Meanwhile, the number of exhibition visitors surged by nearly 560%, breaching the 1.4 million mark. 

Floor space occupied by “Trade” and “Trade and Consumer” exhibitions also increased by nearly 280% to almost 890,000 sq. m., HKECIA said. 

HKECIA Chairman Stuart Bailey said the sector greatly benefitted from the $1.4b “Incentive Scheme for Recurrent Exhibitions” launched in July 2023, designed to support the industry recovery by incentivising organisers to stage their recurrent exhibitions in Hong Kong.

The 2023 figures still lag behind 2019 levels, partly due to a shortfall in flight capacity to Hong Kong, making it harder for international visitors to travel to the city.

There was a 9% drop in the number of “Trade” and “Trade and Consumer” exhibitions and a 5% dip in the total space rented by exhibitors in 2023 versus pre-pandemic.

“The numbers of exhibiting companies and of visitors stand at roughly three-quarters of pre-COVID levels, with exhibiting companies numbering 70% and visitors 76% of 2019 levels,” the association added.

The highest recovery was in the number of visitors from Mainland China attending “Trade” and “Trade and Consumer” exhibitions, at 91% of the 2019 figure by the end of 2023.

“As long as flight capacity to Hong Kong continues to grow, we expect that the volume of international exhibitors and visitors in 2024 will gradually increase from 2023,” Bailey said.

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