Asia's leading the way
A greater number of convention centres have been built in Asia in the past five years than anywhere else in the world, reflecting the strength of the Mice business in the region, according to industry analysts.
'Asia is so competitive now that virtually every market has world-class venues,' says Business Strategies Group managing director Mark Cochrane, who adds that Hong Kong's two main venues - AsiaWorld-Expo and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) - match the world's best.
Cochrane points to a report by industry association UFI-BSG into the trade fair industry in Asia, which noted there were 101 venues in Asia in 2005. By the end of this year, there will be 176 venues, and on the mainland alone there will be 95 major venues operating this year compared to 55 in 2005.
HKCEC in Wan Chai recently rolled out its second expansion with total rentable space increased to 91,500 square metres. This includes a purpose-built exhibition hall measuring a total of 66,000 square metres in addition to two new restaurants, New Shanghai and Harbour Road Cafe.
AsiaWorld-Expo, at Chek Lap Kok, offers 70,000 square metres of rentable space, and it is marking its fifth anniversary with special offers for conference bookings that take place through to March next year.