COVID UPDATE: VINEXPO HK MOVED TO 2021, THAI DRINKS TRADE LOBBIED TO END ALCOHOL BAN, AUSTRALIA BOOZE RATION LIFTED
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: David Mathews
The French organiser of Vinexpo Hong Kong announced today that the 2020 show will not happen, the next Vinexpo Hong Kong show will take place from 23 to 25 February 2021.
Vinexpo cited border closures and health hazards caused by Covid-19 as the reasons for the postponement in a press release.
This is the second time Vinexpo Hong Kong 2020 being rescheduled, it was originally scheduled to take place from 26 to 28 May, and was then postponed to 8 to 10 July, and now it’s clear that the show will not happen in 2020.
Vinexpo has also outlined its worldwide schedule of six events in the second half of 2020 and 2021, the company said multi-show packages will be available to exhibitors.
According to the schedule, Vinexpo shows will take place in Shanghai from 21 to 23 October 2020, in Paris from 15 to 17 February 2021, in Hong Kong from 23 to 25 February 2021, in New York early March 2021, in Bordeaux in June 2021 and in Shanghai again in October 2021.
Vinexpo CEO Rodolphe Lameyse said: “Our customers will be looking for greater sales efficacy in the second half of 2020 and in 2021. Supporting them through complementary solutions with optimised participation costs is more than ever our priority.”
In Thailand, the Thai Fruit Wine and Local Spirit Producer Association, the Thailand Bartender Association and the Thai Wine Association have banded together to lobby for the alcohol ban to be lifted.
They have asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to instruct all provinces to permit takeaway and delivery sales from tomorrow when the current ban expires. They also want to see the ban on wholesale brought to an end.
But according to Thai media reports, the Thai Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) yesterday recommended that the ban to be renewed again starting from 3 May Sunday.
This could mean consumers will have a 2-day window on Friday and Saturday to stock up on their booze.
However, Thai media also said that provincial governors will have the final say on alcohol bans.
In Australia, Retail Drinks Australia - the national industry body representing packaged retail liquor stores - has announced that the restriction on consumers’ alcohol purchases introduced following the COVID-19 outbreak has been lifted effective from 28 April.
Retail Drinks Australia CEO Julie Ryan said: “The specific purpose of the restrictions was to demonstrate coordinated industry leadership by liquor retailers and to pre-emptively address concerns regarding panic-buying.”
“After monitoring data closely over the last month, we can report that despite early elevated purchasing following initial announcements of COVID-19-related restrictions, we have seen purchasing trends flatten and return to near-normal.”
“Retail liquor trading has returned to 2019 levels, and in many cases is actually significantly lower. On average, liquor retail sales in April are up to 15% lower than this time last year and Easter trading was also up to 10% lower than the 2019 Easter trading period.”
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