The IAPCO Council were treated to a 7-star hosting of their recent council meeting in Hong Kong. Not only were informative and memorable visits paid to the two main venues AsiaWorld-Expo and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, but the Hosts, Meetings & Exhibitions Hong Kong, were at pains to show just why the city is so important in today’s meetings industry.

Andrew Davis, Associate Director-General of Invest Hong Kong, explained the advantages of how Hong Kong can help business tourism succeed in Asia, at a presentation to the IAPCO Council.

Mr Davis praised this robust economy, where the GDP grew by 5% in 2011 and is expected to grow by a further 1-3% in 2012, placing Hong Kong in an enviable position in today’s economic climate. And of course it is the Gateway to China, and an Asian crossroads. Hong Kong has a low and simple tax system, (no VAT!), on top of which there is the HK$150 million Mega Events Fund, to encourage more arts, cultural and sports events.

And with its strategic location, as well as being the third busiest international passenger airport in the world with connections to around 160 destinations and over 900 daily flights, together with a world class infrastructure, Hong Kong is set to remain “Asia’s Best City for Business Events”.

Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the 12-strong board of IAPCO completed their busy schedule with Task Force meetings on Education and Strategy, reviews of the membership by the Quality Committee, followed by a 2-day council review of all IAPCO activities.

“We accepted an invitation from Hong Kong to host our council meetings, the first time that we have done so, and were excited by the programme the MEHK created for us” commented Gonzalo Perez Constanzó. “We think it is a two-way street from which we all benefit, as it gives us the opportunity to be in contact with convention bureaux, conference centres and other players in the meetings industry who might not be that well-known by us. With fifteen of IAPCO members in the Asia Pacific region it is also a learning experience for all of us. It is something we definitely want to repeat in the near future and already we have received invitations for next year. We were delighted with the success of the visit”.

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