Hong Kong offers free venue hire amid coronavirus fears

A government subsidy aims to reinvigorate the conferences and events industry after event cancellations.

A subsidy of US$130 million (more than HK$1 billion) has been handed to the exhibition and convention market from the rhe Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, officials have confirmed.

The move was made to boost business after a string of high-profile events were cancelled due to the Covid-19 strain of Coronavirus.

Under the deal, 100% of venue costs will be subsidised for events held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), provided the event has more than 400 participants and at least half of those participants are from outside of Hong Kong. 

Any delegates and exhibitors attending events organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will have half of their participation fees covered (up to US$1,280) for a 12-month period.

Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Management Limited (HML), said: “HML appreciates the financial support from the HKSAR Government, which serves as a timely relief measure for the industry that has been greatly affected by the public activities in the second half of 2019 and the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). 

“[It] sends a positive message to international event organisers that Hong Kong welcomes their return. We are confident that the measures will encourage organisers with postponed events to confirm their new schedules, and new organisers to confirm their plans.”

HKCEC is also working to reschedule several postponed or cancelled events since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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