A golf tournament scheduled for next month in Hong Kong was the latest casualty of the city’s long summer of political unrest, joining scrapped events from an annual fireworks display to a Matilda musical and a college fair.
PGA Tour Series – China canceled the Clearwater Bay Open to be held Oct. 17-20 due to “safety concerns,” according to a statement on the organizer’s website. The series season will conclude in Macau, it said.
“We have analyzed this situation from every angle, and as a group we determined that canceling the 2019 Clearwater Bay Open is the best decision,” PGA Tour Series – China’s Executive Director Greg Carlson said in the statement.
The historic, months-long pro-democracy demonstrations — violent sometimes — have taken a toll on the territory’s economy with business sentiment among small and medium enterprises tumbling to a record low and tourist arrivals plunging 40% in August. The continuing unrest is likely to inflict more pain in the coming months, the peak season for Hong Kong’s trade shows that typically attract thousands of visitors.
Among the nixed events in the city are Matilda, the musical that was scheduled to run for a month, a tennis tournament, and a November tattoo convention. Organizers of the Ivy Fair, backed by the alumni clubs of the U.S. Ivy League schools plus the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, canceled the event for prospective students this week.
Citing safety concerns, the Hong Kong government said last week that it won’t hold its annual fireworks display to mark this year’s Oct. 1 National Day, the politically sensitive 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China
During the rallies that have mostly been held on weekends, activists have lobbed petrol bombs and vandalized subway stations, while police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas.