Diversified Communications, which operates several seafood trade shows around the globe, has made the decision to cancel this year’s Seafood Expo Asia, which was scheduled to take place in Hong Kong from 3 to 5 September, 2019.
The move was made in response to ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong and careful analysis of the current situation, pending protests, and the impacts on the event, Diversified Group Vice President Liz Plizga said.
“We are committed to delivering an event that best reflects the interest of the seafood industry,” Plizga said. “This decision was exceptionally difficult and one that we did not take lightly. There was enough information to indicate that these events would continue with potential impacts on travel and logistics. Our goal is to deliver a valuable and safe environment that’s conducive to business. At the end of the day, we made the final decision with our customers’ best interest in mind.”
The show annually features more than 200 exhibiting companies from more than 30 countries, and visitors from more than 68 countries. It is designed to facilitate the trading of seafood in the Asia-Pacific region, “one of the biggest and fastest-growing seafood markets in the world,” according to Diversified. (Editor’s note: Diversified Communications owns and operates SeafoodSource).
Political protests have been taking place in Hong Kong since March 2019 with demonstrations involving millions of Hong Kong residents. In mid-August, a smaller group of protestors gathered at Hong Kong International Airport, resulting in the cancellation of more than 150 flights.
Protestors have said they will continue to stage demonstrations in coming months, which was a significant factor in Diversified’s decision, Plizga said.