Located at the center of East Asia, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an international commercial, trade and financial center with mainland China as its hinterland. Based on its free market economy policy, Hong Kong now has a modern, dynamic service economy, and it also has a dynamic business travel and convention and exhibition industry.
At the mouth of the Pearl River in southeastern China, facing the South China Sea, the 1,104-square kilometer region of Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories, with Victoria Harbour at its central hub separating Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, while the New Territories is on the other side of the region bordering the land administration line. The New Territories represents most of Hong Kong's land area, and also includes 262 islands, including Lantau Island where the airport is located. As a regional and global traffic hub, Hong Kong has more than 80 air routes and several cruise routes, as well as ferries and railways traveling between Hong Kong and the mainland.
With its good location, fine infrastructure, convenient transport, favorable business environment, professional talent, the vibrant way of life, and with many enterprises setting up their Asia Pacific headquarters there, Hong Kong is now an important destination for corporate meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions in Asia.
Hong Kong provides various options for MICE with regard to venues, itineraries and team building activities. Good facilities ensure MICE activities can inspire employees to work harder and to achieve better goals when they get back to working.
Mature Exhibition Industry
Hong Kong has a mature exhibition industry, and it is also the venue for many world-class exhibitions. Exhibitors can enter the international market by taking advantage of Hong Kong being global trade platform, as well as a showcase and study for the latest industrial technology.
Multi-purpose venues such as AsiaWorld-Expo, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, Hong Kong International Trade & Exhibition Center, together with other venues like hotels, private clubs, and themed restaurants, offer the right places for corporate meetings and activities of various sizes.
As a modern metropolis with diverse culture, Hong Kong is the land for information and creative ideas. Geographically, Hong Kong is near to the world's fastest-growing economic system, providing an ideal platform for international organizations and professional teams to establish connection with organizations of the same business in Asia or even in the world.
For conferences, Hong Kong offers acclaimed venues and hotel facilities to organizers. It also offers unique opportunities for participants to exchange knowledge and experience, and to establish a contacts network in mainland China and Asia. Hong Kong has more than 900 professional associations, among which many are affiliated to international organizations. They are in close relationship with other parts of the world, and can attract people to gather in Hong Kong. The city is capable of holding conferences of any kind and any size.
The meeting infrastructure and technical expertise is also a plus factor for Hong Kong when choosing where to hold a conference. AsiaWorld-Expo is the only one in Asia adopting a pillarless design; and connecting with Hong Kong International Airport, it offers the 13,500-seat AsiaWorld-Arena and the AsiaWorld-Summit for up to 5,000 guests. The newly extended Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center has the most advanced convention facilities, and can accommodate up to 20,000 participants.
The city can provide more than 57,000 hotel rooms with options ranging from high-end luxury hotels to licensed economy hotels, which can meet the varying demands of guests with various tastes and budgets. Large-scale events and small and medium-sized events can all find suitable hotels with good service.
Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees
Christina Cheng is the general manager of Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees. She told China Hospitality News that the hotel has a unique and innovative twist to its lobby; the designer has made an optical illusion and created an environment where it feels as though one is inside Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa. The new established hotel offers 702 modern rooms and suites; full facilities including a large banquet room divisible into nine meeting rooms with over 4,500 square feet of space equipped with multi-function room lighting and the latest audio-visual technology; and an outdoor garden terrace suitable for ice-breaking meetings or intimate meals. Cheng said Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees is capable of holding conventions and exhibitions of from five to 450 participants. It also has a world of cuisine created by multi-national chefs from Asian favorites to Indian zest, from popular international dishes to traditional Thai tastes.
Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees is just steps away from historical Hong Kong where antique Cha Chan Tangs (tea shops) still reside to serve up flavors of the past, yet it is only minutes away from the hustle and bustle of lively Tsim Sha Tsui for entertainment, dining and shopping, traveling by the complimentary hotel shuttle bus which is more than just a ride but a tour through old Hong Kong.
Cheng's recommendations for Business Travelers
1. Start the day by having a scrumptious breakfast at the ground floor Cafe 8 Degrees.
2. Take the complementary hotel shuttle bus to nearby and popular Tsim Sha Tsui for great shopping.
3. Head to any of the diverse local "Cha Chan Tangs" to savor favorite local dishes such as wonton noodles, fried beef slices with noodles, or cakes and desserts.
Harbour Grand Kowloon (formerly Harbour Plaza Hong Kong)
Jonathan A Wilson, the general manager of Harbour Grand Kowloon told CHN that Harbour Grand Kowloon is a deluxe five-star hotel situated on the Kowloon waterfront just steps from the famous Victoria Harbour. The hotel is nestled in a charming cafe-and-boutique-rich neighborhood and adjacent to ferries traveling to the popular Island districts of Central, Wanchai, and North Point. It is a mere five minutes from Hunghom MTR Station and by complimentary hotel shuttle bus it is just ten minutes to Hong Kong's busiest shopping area: Tsim Sha Tsui.
Its marble lobby boasts spectacular panoramic views of Victoria Harbour. Hotel has 554 spacious wireless broadband-ready guestrooms and suites, seven outstanding dining facilities and modern business amenities, over 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a rooftop resort-style swimming pool, and a top-floor fitness center with spa services.
MICE planners' demands for functional space are exceeded when the hotel unveils its ever-growing list of options, beginning with the grandiose 4,500 square foot Grand Ballroom which seats up to 550 in theater setups and accommodates up to 600 for cocktail functions, and which can be split into two individual rooms as well. The hotel stands as a respite for discerning business travelers who expect the finest in their accommodation. Harbour Grand Kowloon has its own private pier on the waterfront just outside the hotel. Planners can arrange a unique Hong Kong event with catered group junk trips or use the convenient shuttle ferry transport to and from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
Wilson's recommendations for Business Travelers
1. Originally the port center in Hong Kong, the area, just five minutes' east of Tsim Sha Tsui, became an attractive, up-market residential market during the property boom of the 1980s, and has evolved into a unique shopping, dining and entertainment location, which is why ferries from three popular Island districts stop regularly at Hunghom. Within three minutes' walk along cafe and boutique-richladen streets, a popular cinema and four-story dining complex featuring tastes of Taiwan, Sichuan and Southeast Asia attracts locals from all around Hong Kong craving inexpensive but delicious foods.
2. The Harbour Grand Kowloon fitness center includes state-of-the-art nautilus and cardio machines, Smith machines, free weights, and the promenade is the place for jogging. A bowling alley and a children's play center are within three minutes' walk, and Kai Tak Golf Driving Range is a few minutes' drive away.
Regal Riverside Hotel
Robert Gerber, the general manager of Regal Riverside Hotel says: Overlooking the peaceful Shing Mun River in Shatin, Regal Riverside Hotel offers a breath-taking environment and attentive service away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. The hotel provides business and leisure travelers with excellent value-for-money accommodation, fully equipped conference and banquet facilities, choices of dining venues, as well as fine recreational facilities. It is just a few minutes' drive from Shatin MTR station. The hotel is well located in Shatin, with easy access to the nearby Shatin Race Course, one of the greatest attractions in the New Territories. The hotel offers shuttle bus service to bring guests to the major shopping and sight-seeing landmarks of Hong Kong. Its central location provides easy access to all modes of public transportation.
Each of the 1,138 guest rooms and luxuriously appointed suites has a special vantage point overlooking the gorgeous river with individual controlled air-conditioning, in-room tea and coffee making facilities, and a mini-bar offering various drinks. A special treat for family guests or group travelers are the quadruple guest rooms that keep everyone in close contact.
There is a wealth of fun things to do for dining and relaxation at the Regal Riverside Hotel. Shatin SOHO, the hot dining hub operated by the hotel in the New Territories, offers a fine selection of eight great restaurants and two superb bars under one roof. Food safety is always the hotel's top concern; Regal Riverside Hotel easily attains international standards and was certified for its ISO22000 Food Safety Management System in 2008.
Regal Riverside Hotel understands that each successful meeting or banquet needs attentive professional planning. The hotel provides diversified meeting rooms, and is flexible for different occasions from large scale conferences and banquets to small business meetings. The hotel also provides comprehensive audio visual presentation aids and conference facilities together with a the professional service team that takes care of every detail and assists throughout the event.
Gerber's Recommendations for Business Travelers
1. Hong Kong's most popular attraction, The Peak offers spectacular views over the city, the harbor, and the Mountains beyond. For an extra buzz, take the Peak Tram.
2. Taking a Peak Tramway trip to the Peak and overlooking Victoria Harbour is an unforgettable experience. The Peak Tram's route from Central district to Victoria Peak covers a distance of about 1.4 kilometers and a height difference of just under 400 meters. The steepest inclination is 27 degrees.
3. The Ngong Ping 360 experience starts with a 25 minute cable car ride from Tung Chung to a culturally themed village high atop a mountain plateau on Lantau Island. It's here at the Ngong Ping Village, that a family can enjoy two great attractions and a choice of shops and eateries, all on this picturesque 1.5-hectare site.
4. Hong Kong Disneyland invites visitors into the legendary fairytale kingdom that celebrates the spirit of fantasy, the world of tomorrow and a forever-young sense of adventure. Mickey Mouse will welcome you to the happiest place on Earth complete with attractions exclusively designed for Hong Kong.
5. Po Lin Monastery is a Buddhist monastery and also a famous tourist attraction, located on Ngong Ping Plateau, on Lantau Island. The attached tea garden is the only one in Hong Kong. Visitors who spend a night in the monastery can wake up early to climb the 934-meter high Lantau Peak to enjoy the sunrise from the second highest mountain in Hong Kong.
The bronze Tian Tan Buddha — also known as Big Buddha — beside the monastery is the world's largest Buddha statue, and was completed in December 1993 after 25 years of construction. The Buddha statue sits on a lotus throne on top of a three-platform altar, and is 34 meters tall and weighs 250 tons. With the welding works meticulously carried out, the facial features are serene and stately. Visitors have to climb 268 steps in order to reach the Buddha, and to overlook the fantastic view of Lantau Island and South China Sea.
Not far from the monastery, there is the Wisdom Path, the outdoor wooden inscription of the Heart Sutra, a treasured text revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike. The thirty-eight timber columns with the inscription of the Heart Sutra have been arranged to correspond to the topography of the landscape, and in a figure-of-eight configuration symbolizing infinity.
Novotel Century Hong Kong
Antony Platford, the general manager of Novotel Century Hong Kong told CHN that the hotel has a convenient location in the heart of Hong Kong Island in exciting Wan Chai, and is very close to an MTR station, the Star Ferry, and the Peak Tram. It also has easy access to Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo for a huge variety of food and beverage outlets. If you are here on a Wednesday night then the Happy Valley races are a only short taxi ride away.
Platford added that the hotel has 511 rooms catering to business needs. There is iPod docking for all executive floor,and wired broadband internet connection in all rooms. Business travelers can take full advantage of the wired and wireless broadband Internet connections. The 23rd floor Premier lounge offers guests who choose to stay in the Premier Rooms on the top four floors of the Hotel complimentary daily breakfasts and evening cocktails overlooking Hong Kong Harbour. The hotel's multi-functional meeting rooms are equipped with WiFi, plus a wide choice of dining options makeing it the perfect setting for professional event.
Platford's recommendations for Business Travelers
1. Shopping is always on guest's agenda in Hong Kong and we can't leave out Causeway Bay, Central, and Admiralty. Wanchai and the hotel are central to both areas for easy transit.
2. Experience endless parties for the young at heart in the bars of Lan Kwai Fong, SoHo, and Wanchai.
3. Dine with friends in nearby SoHo or in one of Wanchai's Michelin stared restaurants. Walk along Bowen Road or for the more adventurous try the "Dragon's Back" along the ridge of Shek'O Peninsula.
4. Take in the evening 8pm light show along the harbour promenade in from the HK Exhibition and Convention Center which is a short walk from the Hotel.
5. Ride the bus or Peak Tram to The Peak for lunch or dinner overlooking the city's skyline and stroll along the "Morning Walk" afterwards overlooking both sides of Hong Kong Island.
6. If you are still standing take a ferry ride across the Harbor (the ferry terminal is a five minute walk from the Hotel) and take in the spectacular Hong Kong city skyline at any time of day or night.
7. Enjoy a relaxing ferry ride to Lamma Island and enjoy some local seafood.
8. Eat Yum Cha every day and ask the concierge for the best local recommendations! It's the best!
9. Travel by Bus to Stanley Market for some barging hunting! Walk around the Wan Chai markets for a truly authentic Hong Kong Experience.
The Peninsula Hong Kong
Long hailed as one of the finest hotels in the world, The Peninsula Hong Kong has been celebrating the city's dramatic progress since 1928 as the legendary "Grande Dame of the Far East".
The Peninsula Hong Kong overlooks Victoria Harbor in bustling Tsim Sha Tsui, and is in the heart of Kowloon and its shopping, dining and entertainment district. Rainy Chan, the general manager of the hotel, informed China Hospitality News that the hotel has 300 luxurious rooms and suites featuring Hong Kong's most spectacular views, together with the most advanced technological innovations, including flat-screen televisions, CD and DVD players, fax machines, marble bathrooms with televisions, electronic safes, and executive desks with data ports, multi-voltage universal connectors and complimentary high-speed broadband internet access.
Transportation choices include a fleet of 14 chauffeur driven Rolls-Royce Extended Wheelbase Phantoms, two MINI Cooper S Clubman vehicles, which reflects the legendary Grande Dame's youthful spirit as she enters her ninth decade, and a helicopter for sightseeing trips and airport transfers from the hotel's helipad.
The hotel boasts nine restaurants and bars, including French, Chinese, Swiss, Japanese and Continental cuisines, while The Lobby features the famous English afternoon tea. Felix, the spectacular rooftop restaurant designed by Philippe Starck, serves contemporary cuisine. A lounge, Salon de Ning, offers dancing and cocktails while The Bar is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks.
Unlike big convention venues, the hotel offers small to medium size meeting spaces within the hotel, said Chan. Understanding that each event is different requires a personalized touch, the meeting consultant is there to assist planners in finding ideal locations. Whether it's for a high-level business meeting, a large conference or small social gathering, The Peninsula Hong Kong has a wide range of unique venues to suit different needs and tastes.
Chan's Recommendations for Business Travelers
Gaddi's French Restaurant
Gaddi's has meant fine French dining in Hong Kong since 1953. A table at Gaddi's means a celebration, a business coup, a special anniversary or a marriage proposal, or just a leisurely gourmet meal.
One of the most popular restaurants in Hong Kong. Here guests can enjoy Northern and local Chinese cuisine while overlooking the Victoria Harbour.
An exclusive private members' club, which can be accessed through special arrangements with the hotel's concierge.
A Japanese restaurant that has won major success in London. Offering contemporary interpretations of authentic Japanese cuisine.
Horse racing is not just a sport but also a hobby in Hong Kong; it attracts about two million people each year. Night races take place on Wednesdays in the cooler months of the year. This is an exciting experience for business travelers.
Repulse Bay is on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. It is not only a tourist attraction, but an up-market residential area. The beach was extended artificially, and thus the sand closer to the shore is coarser than that further away. It is the one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong, fascinating and relaxing.
Stanley Market is a famous large open-air marketplace well known for its bargains in clothing. In Stanley there are many bars and restaurants. It is also the place for surfing.
Located above the Kowloon MTR Station. Elements brings together some of the world's most sought-after brands and services. What's even better is that some of these are completely new to Hong Kong, and many others have opened flagship stores here. Dining is also a big draw; the Civic Square offers both oriental and western cuisine.
Pronounced "GOD" (a pun on the Cantonese for "to live better") is best known for reworking of common local scenes and elements into hip products, like its range of bags that feature repeated images of housing estates and mail boxes. It mainly sells furniture and daily necessities. Its key furniture is designed in-house and is committed to the needs of high-density urban living space with local tastes. Its designers are good at combining the traditional oriental techniques and new technology and new material together to create something with styles of both new and old, east and west, showing the strong adaptability and eclecticism of Hong Kong citizens. The local features of G.O.D not only attract tourists, but also Hong Kong locals. Those local cultural designs that might have disappeared have been rediscovered and redesigned to be "authentic" Hong Kong products.
To live better does not necessarily mean luxury. It is the process of finding the fun of life somewhere that others can not. This is what G.O.D wants to tell us.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is located in Central, the heart of Hong Kong's commercial and financial district, within close proximity to major shopping, dining and nightlife attractions. The general manager of the hotel Jonas Schuermann described its meeting facilities. There are six meeting rooms on the first floor that can be combined for a total capacity of 600 guests; four meeting rooms on the second floor function rooms with adjustable wall paneling can cater for events from board room meetings of 12 to cocktail receptions for 180; two meeting rooms on the 23rd floor that can be combined for a total capacity of 100; and a boardroom that seats 14 delegates. Besides, it also has a 24 hour business center with the latest technology. In software services, a dedicated events manager will tailor-make meetings to clients' specific requirements offering legendary service with masterful attention to detail, and innovative menu choices and gourmet creations and themed coffee breaks
Entirely renovated in May 2008, the striking Connaught Room on the first floor has been the ballroom of choice for Hong Kong's social elite for almost half a century. With an unbeatable location in the heart of Central this elegant hotel is renowned for its award-winning, personalised service, and every member of staff is dedicated to meet every need of the guests and make their event successful and hassle-free.
Schuermann's Recommendations for Business Travelers
1. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is located in Central, the heart of Hong Kong's commercial and financial district, within close proximity to major shopping, dining and nightlife attractions.
2. The hotel is just steps away from the world-famous fashion brands and at the shopping arcade of the hotel, special guests can enjoy exclusive discounts and privileges from various fashion and jewelry brands, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloe, John Lobb, Boucheron, and Ronald Abram, not to mention some of the city's top shopping malls.
3. There is so much for tourists to do in Hong Kong, depending on their interests, from shopping to dining, from hiking to touring the outlying islands, there are also local cultural and festival events for everyone to participate in during the year. The hotel's concierge team has a deep in-depth knowledge of activities and places to see and their advice is always tailored to the needs of the guest, whether it be sightseeing, shopping, or dining adventures.
Organizing Events in Hong Kong
Creative Ideas Win
Jane Fong, manager at VisitBritain HK and South China said: in terms of MICE, VisitBritain organizes Destination Britain and Ireland at a location in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa each year. There are around 200 delegates from Britain and Ireland and travel trade and media representatives from 15 countries in this region.
VisitBritain looks for suitable space, cost, ability of the hotel to understand the branding and requirements of clients, good service, efficiency, and flexibility. Most of the international chain five-star hotels meet their requirements. Sometimes the budget properties cannot match what the best hotels have on offer.
Destination Britain and Ireland was hosted at the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong in 2009. The delegates had dinner at the Tai Pak Floating restaurant on the last night and participants were taken there by the open top Big Buses from the Big Bus Company. It was a seafood dinner and the HK Tourism Board hosted some craft stands there such as tying Chinese knots and crafting chopsticks with visitors' names, and there was also a fortune teller. The hotel entrance was under renovation and they built a green maze, displaying photos and posters of Britain and Ireland, for visitors to walk through.
Surprises After Business Travel in Hong Kong
Finding Typical Hong Kong After Work
Xie Lijun is the CEO of I Can Lifestyle. Since 2007 she has often traveled to Hong Kong to address lectures to Mary Kay staff. Most of her job is to teach people how to improve themselves by using aesthetics to advocate a new lifestyle. No matter which city are you in, no matter what your age is, everyone needs to improve themselves: this is the key mission of the soon-to-opening I Can Lifestyle. She travels a lot between mainland China and Hong Kong.
Business travelers spend their time on planes and in hotels. Xie Lijun said she spent much time staying at hotels. She admited that as long as the hotel is clean and comfortable enough, it is OK if it is cheap. And she is not interested in hotels without their own characteristics: since they can be found everywhere. However, the most important things for business travelers are hotels' services and facilities — Internet access, the telephone, quick check-in and check-out — as long as these can ensure that they can get on with their work. Xie figures a hotel with distinguished design will relieve fatigue of travelers to some extent and make people feel better. She is fond of artistic decoration herself; creative decoration will make her trip more interesting.
In the past year, some unique hotels have impressed Xie much more than others. For example, as the third W Hotel in Asia, W Hong Kong with its natural design style can make travelers feel relaxed and at ease. W Hong Kong has the world's highest rooftop swimming pools on the 76th floor, with a fantastic butterfly mosaic looming over the rooftop pool.
Which places will Xie Lijun go to after her work is finished? Hong Kong is paradise of delicious food. Xie recommends the Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula Hong Kong for its environment and its delicacy. Most people think of Hong Kong as a bustling, busy city with lively nightlife but few book stores. Xie has a different opinion on this. She finds that there are signs of book stores on the second or third floor of clothing stores, restaurants, and electronics stores. There is one store Xie likes very much, Young Literary Book Store in Wanchai, where there are many poetry books. There are also many design shops in Hong Kong that attract Xie very much. For example, a shop named OM, which comes from the Indian Sanskrit and also is said to be the first sound the newborn has made. It is located in an old three-floor building which used to be a rice trading company. One of the three floors is now a gallery to exhibit various artworks. With a simplified Japanese style, the limited edition of clothes here are made from natural materials such as hemp, silk and cotton, and are very comfortable to the body.