Rival Kenfair's survey says a third fair is unnecessary and it plans to protest
The Trade Development Council (TDC) will go ahead with a gifts and houseware fair next July, despite opposition from a rival which says Hong Kong does not need three annual shows covering the industry.
The government-subsidised TDC already hosts a gifts and houseware fair every year in April. Kenfair International (Holdings) holds a similar show in October each year.
The TDC yesterday said five surveys it had commissioned indicated there was demand for a third fair to be held annually in July.
'About 94 per cent of the prospective exhibitors surveyed said they would participate in the July fair,' TDC deputy executive director Frederick Lam said.
He also rejected claims the trade-promotion body improperly competed with private businesses, saying its fairs were for small and medium-sized enterprises not already served by events run by private companies.
The TDC's survey results contradicted findings of similar studies commissioned by Kenfair. According to those surveys, more than 70 per cent of the respondents said a third fair was unnecessary and they would not participate.
The TDC held a supplementary fair this July to make up for lost attendance at its April show due to the Sars outbreak.
Kenfair, which derives 95 per cent of its revenue and profit from its October gifts and houseware show, had said attendance for the event could fall by 20 to 30 per cent if a third industry show was added to Hong Kong's schedule.
The company declined to comment yesterday, although it earlier said it would stage a protest march and petition the Legislative Council to re-examine the TDC's role.
SBI E2-Capital equity research head Raymond Jook said the impact of a third gifts and houseware fair on Kenfair would be substantial.
Mr Lam said the council estimated the July trade fair next year would attract 500 to 600 exhibitors and 15,000 buyers.