AsiaWorld-Expo expects business to remain buoyant

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2012, 12:00am

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AsiaWorld-Expo expects continued growth in the next five years as it hails a double-digit rise in business over the past 12 months.

The exhibition centre next to the airport said it held events on 210 days in the past year, 26 per cent more than in 2010. Space sales rose 24 per cent to 1.5 million square metres.

'As a new exhibition venue, our growth is actually better than the new venues in other Asia-Pacific areas, such as Singapore and Macau,' chief executive Allen Ha said. 'We are still in the fast-growing stage.'

Ha said he expected double-digit growth to continue in the coming year with further growth likely in the next three to five years as major infrastructure, such as the bridge linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau, opened.

He was speaking as the centre prepares to hold four shows by pop queen Lady Gaga next week, with others by Jacky Cheung Hok-yau, Jason Mraz and Stone Roses booked in the coming months. Canadian group Cirque du Soleil will perform at the venue in the summer.

Ha would not say how long it would take the 70,000 square metre venue to reach saturation, saying there were no plans at present for expansion.

Apart from an increase in international shows, he said the centre, which opened in 2005, had also observed a growing number of international examinations with a majority of participants from overseas.

These include American university entrance test SAT and financial certification CFA.

Ha said there would be more than 20 examinations at the venue in the coming year.

'There are 8,000 to 10,000 participants in each exam. Most of them are from the Asia-Pacific area,' he said. 'Some hotels are telling us that they see an increase in business during those periods too, and encourage us to do more of these events.'

Meanwhile, the centre is launching a free iPhone application next month. It will allow users to look at concert information and use their phones as fluorescent light sticks.

Ric Chow Suk-fun, a new senior media manager at the centre, said the second stage of the app would be launched in August or September, with more functions.