HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (pic: HKTDC)

HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (pic: HKTDC)

The HKTDC has announced major changes to Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair including dates and format.

The HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits fair will be cancelled this year, and postponed to early 2021 ‘in a new format’ that will see longer exhibition days and more public participation, the organizer has announced, citing travel restrictions with Covid-19 as the main cause.

The news came just weeks before the fair was meant to start on November 5-7 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

The organizer HKTDC announced that due to travel restrictions for international visitors and exhibitors, the wine fair planned for November 5 to 7 will be cancelled this year.

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan at last year’s opening ceremony

Instead, the wine fair will be rescheduled to January 28- February 1, 2021 over five days. Additionally, the wine and spirits fair will be reformatted to turn the trade-oriented exhibition into a public fair in order “to harness business opportunities through directly reaching local consumers for retail and brand promotion”, says HKTDC.

The change means that the wine and spirits fair will be held together with six other public exhibitions including HKTDC Food Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Tea Fair, HKTDC Home Delights Expo, HKTDC Beauty & Wellness Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong Lifestyle Showcase, and HKTDC Education and Careers Expo (28–31 January 2021) to be held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

However, despite the new arrangements, the organizer will not rule out possibilities for further changes such as a delay or cancellation.

“On 28 December 2020, a month before the fairs’ opening day, we will assess the prevailing situation and risks to see if the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (Special Edition) and the concurrent events should proceed. This will be followed by a final evaluation and decision on 21 January 2021, a week before the fairs open and shortly before the exhibitors move in, with a view to minimising extra expenses for exhibitors,” according to HKTDC.

Through the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme (C&E Scheme) under the Anti-epidemic Fund, the HKSAR Government will subsidize exhibitors’ participation in the rescheduled HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (Special Edition) and concurrent fairs, subject to a cap of HK$100,000 per exhibitor according to the terms of C&E Scheme.

Earlier, the much anticipated Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival announced that it will be going virtual.

Across the border, though, three international wine fairs are still planned as usual after mainland China successfully contained the virus. They are Vinexpo Shanghai (virtual edition), ProWine China in Shanghai and Vinitaly’s Wine to Asia in Shenzhen.

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