Hong Kong has a strategic location and it is also considered a gateway to China. It has a booming economy and it is also world wide known MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destination. According to the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association’s (HKECIA) Chairman, Mr. Stanley Chu, Hong Kong is popular for its world-class facilities and infrastructure. The Chairman also says it has a free, open and transparent business environment. Local MICE sector is doing well and it is likely to develop even further.
In 2005 approximately a quarter of visitors to Hong Kong were business travelers or meetings visitors. The HKECIA has released its annual exhibition survey results for 2007. According to the survey, number of large exhibitions opened to both the exhibition industry and the public increased by 71 per cent. Number of overseas visitors grew by 18 per cent. Nevertheless, the biggest growth was that of Chinese visitors. There was a 47 per cent growth in the number of MICE sector related visitors from mainland China. There were not only more Chinese visitors; also Chinese companies increased their presence in Hong Kong events. According to the survey, 12 per cent more Chinese entrepreneurs participated in local exhibitions.
It is not only the MICE sector that is doing well. The total number of all visitors to Hong Kong in 2007 reached 28,169,293 which is 11.6 per cent more than in 2006. The biggest numbers of visitors come naturally from mainland China. In 2007 there were more than 15 million visitors from the region, which is a 13.9 per cent more than the previous year. Chinese also made approximately 55 per cent of all visitors to Hong Kong. Number of visitors from Europe, Africa and the Middle East rose by some 14.2 per cent to 2,189,424 arrivals. Number of visitors from the Middle East itself grew by 23.7 per cent.