East Rail Line extension a ‘great addition’

An exhibition trade spokesman on Monday said the new Exhibition Centre station is a great addition to Hong Kong’s transport system, as it will open up hotel options for overseas exhibitors along the East Rail Line.

Stuart Bailey, the chairman of the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association said exhibitors would not need to restrict themselves to hotels in Wan Chai anymore, after the newly-opened rail extension connected Hong Kong Island with the northeastern New Territories.

“It opens up a whole host of new hotel options for overseas participants, who are coming to take part in the conventions and exhibitions,” he said.

“If you think about all those five-star hotels in East Tsim Sha Tsui, they’re now just one stop away on the MTR, so I think it has multiple benefits and will certainly make it a lot easier for people using the centre.”

Bailey also said the industry needs a timeline for reopening, as it takes time to arrange for such events to return to Hong Kong.

He noted the city was losing some of the biggest and economically important trade shows to other places, such as Dubai, Singapore, and Thailand, adding the longer that quarantine for arrivals remained in place, the more damaging it was for the SAR’s reputation.

“There’s a huge appetite for large-scale events to resume, both from organisations here and participants overseas.”

“We also need certainty that the business community can travel without those restrictions,” he added.