Flood of fairs at new exhibition centre tipped to deliver $4b bonanza

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2005, 12:00am

A packed calendar of about 30 trade fairs next year at the city's newest exhibition centre is expected to generate more than $4 billion for Hong Kong, its managers say.

One event alone, ITU Telecom World, will bring more than 100,000 visitors to the city, said Helen Chiu, chief commercial officer at the new centre, AsiaWorld-Expo at Chek Lap Kok.

The estimates bode well for the Airport Authority, which has a stake of more than 70 per cent in the venture.

The centre will eventually feature a hotel, golf course, shopping and entertainment facilities, and more than 1,000 parking spaces. It will open in December, but work on the hotel has yet to begin and it is not expected to be ready before 2007. The golf course could be ready in eight months.

The centre will be served by the MTR's Airport Express line, which will terminate at the AsiaWorld-Expo station. The adult single fare between the airport and the new terminus will be $5. Special discount fares will be offered to AsiaWorld-Expo visitors.

The MTR's general manager of marketing and station business, Adi Lau, is confident that more than half the people visiting the venue will take the train - even though it is only a five-minute walk from the airport terminal. Buses, including cross-border services, will also stop at AsiaWorld-Expo.

Airport Express trains, which currently have seven cars, will be extended to eight, and if passenger flow to the centre becomes heavy, the MTR will either increase the frequency of trains or allocate specific carriages to AsiaWorld-Expo passengers.