Conference delegates ‘surging’ back into Asia.

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The International Jewellery Show at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre The International Jewellery Show at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Photo Credit: HKCEC

Asia has always been a strong player on the international meetings and events circuit – and there are signs the region’s post-pandemic recovery is gathering pace.

China reopened its borders to international visitors last month, giving a huge boost to the region’s meetings and events industry, which was effectively locked down for two years.

Long after European countries and North America lifted their travel bans, countries in Asia remained closed to visitors, with restrictions in most countries only eased in Spring 2022.

But it would seem the continent’s cautious approach has not caused lasting damage to business.

Last week more than 200 delegates were at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre),  for the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference, which returned to the region after a four-year hiatus.

It was just one of 52 events and exhibitions scheduled to take place at the iconic venue this year, which managers hope will attract at least 160,000 international visitors.  

General manager John Burke said: “With the whole of Asia fully open for business now, we anticipate accelerated activities and movements that will reinvigorate trade and economy, in Malaysia, regionally and globally.”

Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director/CEO, said: “Finally, we could re-united the exhibition industry community from the whole Asia-Pacific region again and face to face. The optimism and energy everyone felt during the two days of the conference show that our industry is not only recovering, but it will go beyond where we have been before the pandemic disruption.”

Hong Kong has more than 100 international meetings and events scheduled this year. Some of the events will be held in the city for the first time, with others returning after the pandemic.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre celebrated a full house for the first time since the pandemic last week, when an international jewellery exhibition attracted over 2,500 exhibiting companies from 36 countries and regions - with half of them from overseas - and over 60,000 buyers from 130 countries and regions.  

Managing director Monica Lee-Müller said: “Since the reopening of borders with overseas destinations and the Mainland, HML has seen a surge in booking enquiries from both overseas as well as local exhibition and convention organisers.”

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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