Hong Kong government is slashing exhibition prices for the November HKTDC International Wine & Spirits Fair by half to draw in wineries and visitors amid the city’s dwindling tourists and economic downturn.
The 13th edition scheduled for November 5-7 will offer wineries and exhibitors up to HK$10,000 (US$1,282) subsidy, says the organizer Hong kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
“2020 has been a challenging year around the world due to COVID-19. To assist global wine and spirits companies to pick up pace in exploring markets and business opportunities using Hong Kong as a trading platform, the HKSAR Government has announced the launch of the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme on 21 February 2020,” says HKTDC.
According to the trade development council, any company – local or overseas, large or small – will be subsidized 50% of its participation fee, subject to a cap of HK$10,000 (US$1,282), and this subsidy applies to the upcoming November international wine and spirits fair.
Hong Kong’s tourist number last year fell to its lowest level due to the months of anti-government protests, and in the first few months of the year so far the local government has strict quarantine measures for foreign arrivals in face of coronavirus pandemic.
This has caused wine fairs such as Vinexpo Hong Kong which was scheduled to take place in May this year to be pushed back to February next year.
Last year’s HKDTC wine and spirits fair already saw dropped visitor number, majority of which came from mainland China, due to the anti-government protests over now withdrawn anti-extradition law.
Question now is would the 50% discount lure back wineries and wine associations deterred by coronavirus and Hong Kong’s renewed protests?