Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, the region's largest international wine and spirits exhibition, closed yesterday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) following three record-breaking days in terms of exhibitors, visitors, and business opportunities.
The three-day event which was in Hong Kong for the fourth time, was the largest to date occupying over 8,500 square metres of the HKCEC and welcomed more than 880 exhibitors from 32 countries around the world.
These included China, Australia, US, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Chile and Greece - with a number of countries making their first appearances.
It is estimated that the expo attracted more than 12,000 visitors. This figure represents an increase of about 40% on Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2008.
The strictly trade show attracted wine and spirits importers, wholesalers and retailers, duty free and airline buyers, and food and beverage professionals.
58% of visitors were from 25 Asian countries, led by China and followed by Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Singapore. 42% of visitors were from Hong Kong and Macau.
"As our survey showed, Asia is now the most dynamic and happening market in the wine and spirits world," said Robert Beynat, Chief Executive, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific.
"The total volume of wine consumption is increasing four times faster than the world average and is expected to continue in the next five years. Furthermore, Asia-Pacific accounts for 50.6% of total world spirits consumption.
"Our decision to return to Hong Kong was right; this has been a resounding success for everyone, from the impressive range and reputation of the exhibitors who represent all of the world's major wine and spirits producing countries, to the calibre of the visitors," he said.
Speaking on behalf of California's Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Larry Stone, General Manager said: "More and more people are interested in food pairing and wine consumption is becoming part of the every day life in Asia."
As always a major attraction of the show was the Vinexpo Academy which offered an outstanding programme of 42 tastings, seminars, master classes and presentations hosted by leading figures from the world of wine and spirits and attended by visitors and media guests.
Jeannie Cho Lee, MW who conducted a series of master classes on matching Asian flavours with wine, commented: "I was amazed by the amount of enthusiasm shown by participants, many of whom we had to turn away due to the overwhelming response."
"The Vinexpo Academy was created in response to requests from the industry, as a platform to further develop knowledge and understanding," said Dominique Hériard Dubreuil, Chairman, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific.
"This is an unparalleled opportunity for visitors to come face to face with some of the world's leading specialists to broaden their knowledge and build their confidence."
The next Vinexpo exhibition will take place in Bordeaux, France from Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd June 2011.
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