Vinexpo Hong Kong has quietly changed its wine fair dates on its website today, postponing originally scheduled fair in late May to July 8-10 this year, following the footsteps of other wine fair organizers including Prowein.
Rumours of its cancellation and postponing intensified in early February when Hong Kong government introduced what it calls a basket of “draconian measures” to limit travelers from mainland China to Hong Kong including suspending majority of checkpoints and a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
This raised question about the fate of Vinexpo Hong Kong as mainland Chinese visitors constitute its biggest visitor group.
Other top visiting countries to the wine fair including South Korea and Japan are also mired in an intensive fight against the novel coronavirus, where infected numbers for the two Asian countries reached over 4,300 and 900 respectively as of March 2.
The virus has now spread beyond China to over 60 countries globally, sickening over 80,000 and killing over 3,000 with majority in mainland China.
Hong Kong as of today has 98 confirmed cases.
ProWein Dusseldorf has announced over the weekend that it will postpone its wine fair in March to a later date that has yet to be announced.
The postponing of the two major wine fairs now leaves Vinitaly’s fate in the hanging.
Vinitaly said last week the fair will go ahead as planned in April in northern Italy’s Verona despite virus threat, but Italy’s cases have quickly spiked to over 1600 with 34 deaths, becoming an epicenter in Europe.
Countries around the globe have since introduced travel bans to Italy, which would most definitely affect visitor number.
For this year’s Vinexpo Hong Kong, Chile will be the show’s “Country of Honour” in partnership with Wines of Chile.