31st March 2023 – (Hong Kong) The highly anticipated Hong Kong Sevens, the city’s premier rugby tournament has begun today (31st March) at the Hong Kong Stadium. Despite being a major sporting event in Asia, the tournament seems to have failed to provide a much-needed boost to the frail economy of Hong Kong. As of yesterday, tickets were still available on the official website and sales of merchandise such as jerseys and sporting equipment have been lacklustre. Local businesses also remain sceptical about the potential economic benefits, with only a slight increase in business expected compared to last year.
Despite the hype surrounding the tournament, the economic impact of the event seems to be underwhelming. Many local businesses, especially those in the vicinity of the stadium, had hoped for a surge in customers, but the reality has been quite different. According to some reports, sales of merchandise have been slow, and local bars and restaurants have not seen the expected increase in business.
While some local businesses remain sceptical about the economic benefits of the tournament, others are more optimistic. Some bar owners have reported preparing to welcome more tourists during the tournament and have stocked up on supplies accordingly. However, the overall sentiment among businesses seems to be cautious, with many adopting a wait-and-see approach to gauge the economic impact of the tournament.
Despite the mixed opinions among local businesses, there are some positive signs that the tournament has had a positive impact on the city. The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has allowed spectators to attend the tournament in person, and the official organizers have reported an increase in ticket sales compared to last year’s tournament. The tournament is also expected to provide a boost to the local tourism industry, which has been struggling due to the pandemic.