WINE AND DINE FESTIVAL CANCELLED TARNISHING HK’S GOURMET CAPITAL STATUS
By David Ma
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced yesterday the cancellation of this year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival scheduled to be held from 31st October to 3rd November, citing safety concerns due to violent protests that have been battering Hong Kong in recent months.
Also cancelled was the Hong Kong Cyclothon event scheduled on 13th October.
HKTB Chairman Dr YK Pang said: “The decision to cancel the two events was certainly not an easy one. However, in view of unforeseen circumstances in the coming weeks, it would be challenging to us to ensure the smooth running of the two events, so we have decided to cancel both of the mega events.”
This year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival will be its 11th edition, to be held in the Central Harbourfront Event Space which is an outdoor venue rather close to the government headquarters frequently targeted by violent protesters.
“Given the large number of participants of the event, in case of any conflicts in the vicinity, it would be difficult to ensure all the participants could leave the venue safely within a short time,” HKTB said in a statement.
The semi-government organisation said it is exploring the possibility of organising a similar event in the first half of next year.
All exhibitors of this year’s event will be refunded in full and will enjoy a 20% discount on the participation fee for next year’s event.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival is the flagship event for wine and gourmet consumers in the city. Last year it attracted 168,000 visitors and 452 exhibitors from 33 countries.
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)
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