Report sees Economic Benefits of Hong Kong’s Exhibition Industry Climb to HK$35.8 billion in 2010 (Up 18.6% from 2008)
15 November 2011

2011 Exhibition Survey: Healthy Growth Across Hong Kong’s Exhibition Industry Bucks Global Uncertainty Trend

(Released on 15 November 2011) The latest in a series of biennial Economic Impact Study reports on Hong Kong’s exhibition industry released today shows that activities associated with Hong Kong’s exhibition industry contributed HK$35.8 billion (US$4.6 billion) to the local economy in 2010, equivalent to 2.1% of Hong Kong’s total GDP, while generating the equivalent of 69,150 full-time jobs. Compared with findings in the previous report, which covered 2008, all the indicators moved upwards showing positive compound annual growth rates (CAGR).

The report, commissioned by the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA), revealed that the exhibition industry continues to bring significant benefits to Hong Kong’s economy not only by contributing substantial expenditure effects, but also by providing thousands of jobs for the exhibition industry and other service industries and supporting sectors, including hotel, food and beverage, retail, stand design and construction, and logistics and freight forwarding.

The report attributes the strong growth of the past two years to the continued high level of global sourcing activities for products from Mainland China and other Asian countries. At the same time, businesses from around the world are increasingly looking to use Hong Kong’s exhibition platform to introduce their products to the growing markets in Mainland China and other Asian markets. This is a situation that, according to the report, is likely to continue and will provide the city with ongoing exhibition growth opportunities.

Mr Daniel Cheung, Chairman of the HKECIA, backed the report’s assessment, noting clear signs that the world’s centre of economic gravity is continuing to shift eastwards. Identifying local drivers for the growth shown by the study, he noted, “This increasing business activity has come about due to the addition of new exhibitions, growth of recurrent shows at the two venues AsiaWorld-Expo and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), as well as increased exhibition space arising from the expansion of the HKCEC in 2009.”

The report gives precise estimates of various economic benefits arising from the exhibition industry, but also mentions the many important intangible benefits generated by the exhibition industry. These benefits are less easy to measure but are nevertheless very real. By way ofcomment, Mr Cheung said, “Exhibitions are important factors in raising Hong Kong’sinternational status. Currently, Hong Kong hosts five of the world’s largest trade exhibitions and seven of Asia’s largest trade exhibitions. Record-breaking events like this reinforce and publicize Hong Kong’s profile as a reliable, successful and dynamic place to do business of any kind, creating a momentum which keeps Hong Kong high in global public awareness as an ideal business location.”

Mr Cheung continued, “The report confirms that the exhibition industry is a driving force behind Hong Kong’s economic strength. Exhibition activities are key to the development of import and export opportunities, and are also essential marketing platforms by which our SMEs can make international business contacts without the expense of travelling overseas.”

Reflecting on the overall implications of the report, Mr Cheung commented, “While we are pleased with the findings of this carefully researched and objective report, we need to be mindful of ongoing competition from the region. To take full advantage of market trends, Hong Kong’s exhibition industry must remain proactive and continue to invest so that our facilities remain second to none, and our service standards unmatchable.”


Economic impact of Hong Kong’s exhibition industry in 2010 and 2008


Benefits (2010)

Benefits (2008)

Compound Annual

Growth Rate (CAGR)

Expenditure effects

HK$ 35.80 b

(US$ 4.6 b)

HK$ 30.20 b

(US$ 3.9 b)


Fiscal impact

HK$ 1.1 b

(US$ 141 m)

HK$ 920 m

(US$ 118 m)



69,150 FTE

6,000 FTE


Expenditure effects continue to grow because of increasing exhibition activity

Hong Kong’s exhibition industry contributed expenditure effects of around HK$35.8 billion

(US$4.6 billion) to the Hong Kong economy in 2010, up by 18.6% from 2008, representing a CAGR of 8.9%. This was equivalent to 2.1% of GDP, up from 1.8% in 2008.

–  Direct, indirect and induced expenditure represent 50%, 30% and 20% of total expenditure respectively.

–   Direct expenditure, which covers expenditure specifically on exhibitions and exhibition-related activities, amounted to HK$17.9 billion (US$2.3 billion). 55% was visitor expenditure contributed by international and local exhibition visitors, and the remaining 45% was business expenditure generated by exhibition organizers and exhibitors.

–   Expenditure by exhibition visitors amounted to HK$9.8 billion (US$1.3 billion) in 2010. It was spilt 90:10 between international and domestic visitors respectively.

–  The food and beverage (F&B), retail and hotel sectors were the largest recipients of direct visitor expenditure, accounting for more than 74%, or HK$7.3 billion (US$936 million), in 2010.

–  Business-related expenditure amounted to HK$8.1 billion (US$1.04 billion) in 2010, representing a CAGR of 22% from 2008.

Fiscal impact grows with increased visitor and business spending

The tax take enjoyed by the Hong Kong Government in 2010 as a result of exhibition activities is estimated at around HK$1.1 billion (US$141 million), based on the total expenditure effects of HK$35.8 billion (US$4.6 billion). This represents an impressive CAGR of 10.7%.Fiscal benefit is derived from three taxes:

–  Profits tax: HK$650 million (US$83.3 million)

–  Salaries tax: HK$418 million (US$53.6 million)

–  Airport tax: HK$59 million (US$7.6 million)

Equivalent of 69,150 full time jobs provided by the exhibition industry

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employment amounted to around 69,150 in 2010, representing a CAGR of 6.5%, up from 61,000 in 2008.

–   Around 2,650 FTE employees, or 4%, were directly employed by venues and exhibition organizers.

–   The remaining 96%, or 66,500 FTE jobs, was provided across various supporting sectors. Of this group, around 61%, or 41,000 FTE jobs, was directly involved in hotel, retail, and F&B, while the remaining 39%, or 25,500 FTE jobs, and was spread across other sectors such as stand construction, advertising, freight and logistics.

International exhibition visitors and exhibitors contributed more than overnight tourists

The report showed that international exhibition visitors spent on average 67% more than overnight tourists while international exhibitors’ spending was on average 30% higher than that of overnight tourists.

–   International exhibition visitors and international exhibitors spent on average HK$11,219 (US$1,438) and HK$8,819 (US$1,131) per visit respectively, compared to HK$6,728 (US$863) per visit by overnight tourists.

Notes to editors:

About the Economic Impact Study 2010

Carried out by professional services firm KPMG Transaction Advisory Services Limited, the 2010 Economic Impact Study report is the fourth in a series of biennial reports commissioned by HKECIA that began by covering the year 2004.

The Study was funded by AsiaWorld-Expo, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. These organizations provided KPMG with information for analysis. The Study used the standard methodology common to the analysis of exhibition industries in other economies, and widely recognized internationally.

Five of world’s largest trade exhibitions held in Hong Kong (based on 2011 edition):

–   World’s biggest event focusing purely on commercial aviation – Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress (a biennial event), organized by Reed Exhibitions

–   World’s biggest electronics event – HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–  World’s biggest gifts event – HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–  World’s biggest timepiece event – HKTDC Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–  World’s No.1 jewelry event – September Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fair, organized by UBM Asia

Seven of Asia’s largest trade exhibitions held in Hong Kong (based on 2011 edition):

–   World’s second largest and Asia’s largest beauty event – Cosmoprof Asia, organized by UBM Asia

–   Asia’s biggest fashion event – HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–   Asia’s biggest homeware event – HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–   Asia’s biggest entertainment event – HKTDC Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART), organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–    Asia’s biggest licensing show – HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–    Asia’s biggest toy event – HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

–    Asia’s biggest wine event – HKTDC Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair, organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

About the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association

The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) was established in 1990 to promote Hong Kong as a world-class exhibition and conference destination and the trade fair capital of Asia Pacific. It works to represent the interests of all members involved in the exhibition and convention industries, and provides a unified voice in dealing with the government, legislative and statutory bodies, the media and public organizations, on all matters associate with the role of the exhibition and convention industry in Hong Kong’s economy. In addition, it offers training and educational programs, and collects, analyses and distributes information and statistics relating to the industry. Currently, HKECIA has members including exhibition organizers, venue managers and operators, contractors, hotels, and travel agents. HKECIA is a member of UFI, and Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.

HKECIA Secretariat and Association Manager can be contacted at:

Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association

Gloucester Road PO Box 28346, Hong Kong