September Hong Kong Jewelry Fair Draws 3% Fewer Visitors

18/10/2016 16:23

The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair drew 55,768 unique buyers from 147 countries and regions this year. "The attendance," writes Anthony Demarco for the Jewelry News Network, "which still ranks the annual event as the top fine jewelry trade fair in the world, is a 3.2 percent decline from the prior year." He notes that this is the second consecutive year that the fair saw a drop in attendance. In 2015, the fair attracted 57,616 unique visitors, which was again 2.5 percent drop from the year before. There was also a decline in the number of exhibitors, falling 3.6 percent compared to the prior year. Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia, noted that buyers remained optimistic, particularly regarding large carat diamonds, precious stones, fine finished jewelry, packaging and equipment. “We observed that the number of quality buyers remained steady at this edition; their presence is an encouraging sign that points to the jewelry industry’s continued development and significant growth,” Lau said.

Demarco notes that certain countries showed growth in visitor numbers as compared to last year: India, up by 423 visitors, (+14%); Myanmar, up by 196 visitors (+75%); Belgium, up by 106 buyers (+32%); Australia up by 80 visitors (+12%); Japan up by 78 visitors (+6%);  United Kingdom, up by 76 visitors (+22%); and Israel up by 66 visitors (+25%). "Commenting on the fact that 70 percent of the total number of visitors was from outside Hong Kong," writes Demarco, "Lau says this makes the September Fair a very good barometer of business sentiment in the jewelry industry." She noted the launch of a new initiative, the “Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond.” Participants displayed a poster informing buyers that diamonds from these exhibitors were natural, providing an easier and quicker way for buyers to make an informed decision when purchasing diamonds. Participants in the program were members of global diamond trade organizations, including the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, the Antwerp World Diamond Center and the Israel Diamond Institute.