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John Lee: HK to attract more mega events while ensuring proper public funding use

John Lee: HK to attract more mega events while ensuring proper public funding use

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Hong Kong will continue to strive to attract mega events to come to Hong Kong while ensuring that the allocation of public funding for organising such activities is used appropriately, said the city's leader John Lee. 

This comes after Thailand’s prime minister Srettha Thavisin said at a business forum in Bangkok that, Singapore offered global superstar Taylor Swift subsidies of US$2m to $3m per show as part of an exclusivity agreement, according to The Guardian.

During a media session before the regular executive council meeting on Tuesday (20 February), Lee didn’t respond directly when asked if Hong Kong would offer similar subsidies.

Lee said different cities strive to attract various mega events such as concerts by international stars. The Hong Kong government will also persist in its efforts to secure such events due to the significant economic benefits they bring and the positive impact they have on enhancing the city's overall attractiveness and competitive image.

“Hong Kong has a strong foundation. Over the years, Hong Kong as an international city, has established networks with people from various business sectors, event organisers and successful professionals in their respective fields,” he said. 

However, Lee said Hong Kong is in constant competition with other cities, which are also continually striving for progress, necessitating Hong Kong to put in even greater effort and maintain persistence in this regard. The government must ensure that public funding is utilised appropriately and can yield significant rewards and economic value, he added. 

Meanwhile, Lee said activities that had been suspended during the pandemic such as Fashion Access (時尚匯集), will make a comeback in Hong Kong in March. Cultural events such as the world’s largest K-pop cultural event KCON and the iconic cultural world fair ComplexCon, will also make their debut in Hong Kong for the first time.

Don’t miss: Hong Kong sets to stage the first ComplexCon in March 2024

Lee also said the government will continue to take a multi-pronged approach to promote the development of mega event economy. In the coming month, events such as Art Basel (巴塞爾藝術展), Hong Kong Arts Festival (香港藝術節) and Hong Kong Green Week (香港綠色周), will be held.

“These events have the potential to stimulate various industries such as tourism, hospitality, catering and retail. According to estimates, every 1.5 million visitors can contribute to approximately 0.1 percentage points of local GDP growth in Hong Kong,” Lee said.

While the government will take the lead in promotion and coordination, it is essential for various industries and practitioners to provide high-quality services and excellent experiences to attract tourists to spend and stay in Hong Kong, Lee added.

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