TO GO OR NOT TO GO – that was the burning question in the latter part of March when Europeans and Americans began cancelling their travel plans to Hong Kong. The news of the postponement when it came was greeted with both shock and relief.

Ultimately the organisers, APLF Ltd, had no choice. If they hadn’t pulled the plug on Thursday March 27, they would certainly have been compelled to on Monday March 31 when the WHO advised against travel to Hong Kong and Guangdong.

The proposed new dates of June 26-28 have not entirely alleviated the fears of the international leather trade. What if SARS is still rampant in the region? Many lessons are being learned as the epidemic continues to spread and, hopefully, the virus will either die out or be contained. Much will become clearer over the next two months.

Assuming all is well on the health front, the biggest problems associated with the new dates are that they fall near the start of the summer holiday period in Europe and the USA.

Also, in Hong Kong itself, the temperatures soar, as does the level of humidity. So not much fun there. We put a number of readers’ concerns to the fair organisers and their response can be seen in this issue’s viewpoint.