More visitors at Hong Kong exhibitions

The number of visitors to Hong Kong exhibitions increased by almost a third last year, according to the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA).

Around 3.6m visitors attended in 2004 compared with 2.8m in 2002 - a rise of 29%. Overseas visitors alone rose by 34%, and there were more than 128,000 visitors from mainland China.

HKECIA chairman Stanley Chu said: "More and more regional and overseas buyers are seeing Hong Kong as a crucial bridging point into Asia and the mainland." He added that mainland Chinese came with strong purchasing power.

The research also found that 40,000 companies exhibited at shows last year, 50% more than in 2000, and that revenue from stand rental alone amounted to more than HK$1.5bn (£100m).

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