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Weekend Property

Boutique hotels in Hong Kong are all about business, catering to the needs of MICE and trade fair visitors

Many of Hong Kong’s boutique hotels are focused on satisfying the needs of business travellers seeking a serviced apartment which is near to the city’s trade fairs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 11:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 3:21pm

If there is one group of travellers coming to Hong Kong on a mission, it is trade fair attendees.

In the main, these are not corporate high-flyers with generous expense budgets, but small- and medium-sized enterprises trying to make a buck.

As hotels.com reports from one of its surveys, meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) travellers are not so much interested in room service and fancy leisure facilities.

What they do want is the means to conduct business efficiently, with free Wi-fi, a shuttle service to the fair ground, and ideally a kitchenette heading the list.

With more than 1.7 million MICE arrivals in Hong Kong last year, according to Hong Kong Tourism Board data, serviced apartment providers which cater to their specific needs will be at an advantage.

National Hotels targets this demographic across its portfolio of all-suite boutique hotels in Central and Sheung Wan: The Jervois, The Putman, 99 Bonham, and One96.

Space between hotels and serviced apartments blurs

Since the majority of the group’s guests are in town on trade fair or MICE business, special packages are tailored according to the Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) programme.

This includes a personalised 24/7 printing, photocopying and faxing service, which guests don’t need to leave their room to access. “Just forward your files to our front desk and the documents will be delivered to your door,” says Kary Ip, marketing co-ordinator, National Hotel Management.

For bookings of two rooms or more, a private shuttle is provided to HKCEC or other business destinations on Hong Kong Island.

Suites with a spacious living area separate from the bedroom enable impromptu collaboration with colleagues in-room. A formal meeting room seating 10 to 12 people, located at The Putman, is available to guests at all four properties for complimentary usage of one hour per day.

Being located close to Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre we cater to a lot of trade fair visitors
Stanley Ng Ting Kit, residence manager, Somerset Victoria Park Hong Kong

Serviced suites under Harbour Plaza Hotel Management come with a range of privileges for trade fair guests. For example, Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees in To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, offers free use of a smartphone for unlimited local calls and international calls (to selected countries), including unlimited data.

The property adjoins Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and is a shuttle bus pick-up point for both HKCEC and AsiaWorld-Expo.

The waterfront Harbour Grand Kowloon, Hung Hom, is, according to Nancy Kwan, group director of sales and marketing at Harbour Plaza Hotel Management, the only hotel in Hong Kong equipped with a private pier.

A complimentary ferry shuttle service to HKCEC is provided to corporate guests during major fair periods. And if hosting a social event for clients or business associates during their stay, a privately chartered boat trip can also be arranged. Serviced suites within the hotel range in size from 872 sq ft to 1,119 sq ft.

Hong Kong tourism board eyes MICE market to boost industry

A free shuttle bus to HKCEC is also offered during trade fair periods at the company’s island-side properties: Harbour Grand Hong Kong, North Point, and Harbour Plaza North Point.

At Causeway Bay property Somerset Victoria Park Hong Kong, operated by The Ascott Limited, a range of professional support includes arrangement of daily office rental at United Centre, Admiralty, or The Work Project, a nearby co-working space.

“Being located close to the Convention and Exhibition Centre we cater to a lot of trade fair visitors, so as part of a special room package for those guests we include a full set of stationery, and free printing of documents,” says Stanley Ng Ting Kit, residence manager.

“For exhibitors needing to store or transport merchandise we can offer special discounts with logistics companies, including pre- or post-fair storage for up to two days.”

Seasonal corporate room packages also include complimentary Airport Express tickets upon arrival and departure, and in some packages, two-hour exclusive usage of the Resident’s Lounge for business meetings.