Gay Games Hong Kong generate over HK$200 million. GGHK

The Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 (GGHK) generated an economic impact of approximately HK$200 million (€23.5 million), according to a study conducted by academics from the Department of Economics at Kent State University in Ohio, USA.

The Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 (GGHK) had a positive economic impact of more than €23 million, according to research conducted by scholars from the Department of Economics at Kent State University in Ohio. The American academics found that local incomes increased by about HK$101.5 million during the Games and the equivalent of 439 jobs were created.

The GGHK ran from 3-11 November 2023 and featured 18 sports with over 500 matches/events, gala concerts, a festival village and opening and closing ceremonies. The event attracted around 5,600 visitors, including 2,380 participants, of which 30% were visitors.

Direct and indirect spending by non-local participants and visitors/contributors contributed HK$95 million (€11.2 million), while spending by the GGHK - the first Gay Games to be funded solely by corporate and private donations without government financial support - accounted for nearly HK$60 million (€7 million) of the economic impact.

Study authors Dr Shawn Rohlin and Dr Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley said the GGHK had a significant economic impact on Hong Kong, including increased revenue for local businesses and new local jobs.

"The Gay Games made a significant positive contribution to the Hong Kong economy in many key industries, including hotels, restaurants, entertainment and retail, with spillover effects throughout the economy," they said.

"The 11th edition of the Hong Kong Gay Games encouraged local athletes to stay in the area rather than travelling out of town to compete. Unlike previous Games, the Hong Kong Games were funded and run by volunteers, meaning that no direct government funding contributed to the economic impact."

The GGHK, the first Games of its kind in Asia, generated considerable positive media coverage for the event and, by extension, for Hong Kong. According to the GGHK's own (non-exhaustive) tracking, the Games generated over 1,600 unique pieces of content in local and global media.

The positive content covered themes such as the celebration of unity in diversity, the cultural shift towards greater inclusivity, the overcoming of challenges in organising the event, the enthusiasm of the participants, the successful staging of the Games and the high-level support of ExCo Convenor Regina Ip.

GGHK's social media channels extended the global reach of the content, with a combined reach of approximately 9.5 million on the official Facebook and Instagram pages.

"While we faced a number of challenges, especially in securing venues, the entire GGHK team and our dedicated volunteers worked extremely hard to realise the FGG ethos of 'Unity in Diversity' and 'Games for All'. We deeply appreciate the unwavering support of Regina Ip and Allan Zeman, who have been with us throughout this journey," said GGHK Co-Chairs Lisa Lam and Alan Lang. 

The next Gay Games will feature 37 sports and will be held in Valencia, Spain between June and July 2026, according to the organisation in charge of the event.