MR CHAN CHUN-YING (in Cantonese):
Deputy President, if the Government wants the C&E industry to further develop or become more competitive, apart from increasing the space of C&E venues, it is also very important to ensure the
adequate supply of ancillary facilities. The Secretary mentioned hotels just now, and I happen to wish to ask a supplementary question in this connection. In the past, when large-scale exhibitions were held in Hong Kong, the supply of hotel rooms would become very tight and the rates would be unreasonably high. May I ask the Government if it has assessed whether the momentum or trend of
development of such important ancillary facilities in the next few years can dovetail with the expansion of the C&E industry, and also whether there are plans to implement some policies for the industry as a means of assistance?
SECRETARY FOR COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (in Cantonese):
I thank Mr CHAN for his supplementary question. The reply concerns three aspects. First, given the tight supply of hotel rooms, the Government has increased the construction of hotels through land grants in the past few years. Though I do not have such information on hand, if my memory is correct, the supply of hotel rooms will see a significant growth in the next few years. This is the first point.
Second, the authorities now plan to demolish the three government buildings and redevelop the site into new C&E facilities which will be integrated with the existing HKCEC, and also intend to allocate some space above the new facilities for hotel development. It is commonly known that the availability of hotels in the vicinity of conference venues can foster the complementarity of the two industries. This is the second point.
Third, as I have also briefly mentioned, HKTB, when endeavouring to bid for the hosting of C&E events in Hong Kong, often provides some ancillary arrangements, including assistance in sourcing appropriate hotel rooms or other tourist support. In this regard, I know HKTB does provide ancillary services when bidding for the hosting of C&E events in Hong Kong.