Hong Kong's efforts to attract new visitors to the city have been given a massive shot in the arm by the government's decision to extend the Mega Events Fund for a further five years with an injection of HK$150 million. Established in 2009, the fund was initially set for three years to sponsor events staged by local non-profit organisations. These included the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival and the Hong Kong Open golf tournament. Anthony Lau, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), believes the extension will enable the city to stage more large-scale events and live up to its billing as the 'events capital of Asia'. Lau says HKTB will leverage these events to maximise international exposure. 'We will also continue to develop dedicated campaigns to promote major third-party events with tourism appeal, including those supported by the Mega Events Fund, catering to specific visitor markets and segments.' The fund's extension has been welcomed by destination management companies. Clemson Lo, general manager of MV Destination, says this will encourage more organisations to host mega events in the city, but he is concerned about the application procedures. 'I wonder if the application process is straightforward enough for organisers,' Lo says. 'We have [had] too many examples where funding was not being used because of complicated procedures.' Travel Asia (HK) president Owen Yau hopes the extension will lead to the staging of a greater variety of events. 'We do have a special interest group to follow specific events such as the rugby sevens,' he says. 'Hopefully, there will be yachting events as well because we have such a beautiful harbour to showcase.'