Taiwanese government officials would not be welcome at next month's regional economic conference in Hong Kong aimed at kick-starting tourism in the aftermath of Sars, the event's mainland co-organiser said yesterday. But the island's tourism industry representatives could attend. More than 1,000 government and industry representatives are expected to attend the event, hosted by the Hainan-based Boao Forum and the World Tourism Organisation. The forum's secretary-general, Long Yongtu, said officials from Taiwan - which, after the mainland and Hong Kong, was the area hardest hit by Sars - would not be invited. Mr Long said: 'Taiwan is not a member of the World Tourism Organisation. [It and the World Health Organisation] are specialised organisations under the United Nations.' Mr Long said the conference on July 14 and 15 would discuss how to revive the region's travel and tourism industry. Mr Long and Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung officially launched the event yesterday but gave few details - such as the names of the three state leaders expected to speak - suggesting that, with the conference two weeks away, the organisers are still scrambling to put the lineup together.