Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Jun 01, 2023

Visas resume, travel booms? Hong Kong tourism sector hopeful as mainland reopens

Visas resume, travel booms? Hong Kong tourism sector hopeful as mainland reopens

Beijing has announced it will resume issuing all categories of visas to foreign visitors from Wednesday, opening country up to overseas travellers.

Excitement is building in Hong Kong’s tourism sector after mainland China said it would resume issuing all types of visas to foreigners, while expatriates based in the city gear up for a return to regular business trips across the border.

Beijing announced on Tuesday it would resume issuing all categories of visas to foreign visitors from Wednesday, effectively dropping the last major border control measure imposed three years ago under strict anti-Covid policies.

Areas in the country that required no visas before the pandemic, such as Hainan province, will return to pre-Covid arrangements.

Foreigners holding previously suspended visas issued before March 28, 2020, will also be able to enter the mainland if the permits have not expired, according to a notice on the website of China’s foreign ministry.

Visa-free entry to Guangdong province for tour groups of foreigners arriving from Hong Kong and Macau will resume. Visa-free access to Guangxi province for foreign tour groups of Asean countries will also return.

Beijing resumed issuing some types of visas to foreign travellers last year and removed the quarantine requirements for visitors on January 8.

Timothy Chui Ting-pong, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, called the arrangement another shot in the arm for the city, following the relaxation of cross-border travel for locals in January.

“Many travellers to Hong Kong, especially those from long-haul markets like Europe or North America, like to make the most of their holidays. They will not fly 10 hours just to stay in Hong Kong for five days and then return home,” Chui said.

“They will usually travel to some mainland destinations as well. In this sense, Hong Kong travel agencies can also have more business opportunities.”

Asked if the mainland’s new arrangement would instead lure tourists away from the city, Chui said: “Hong Kong is an international aviation hub and many travellers choose to come to Hong Kong first even if they plan to enter the mainland.”

Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association chairman Paul Leung Yiu-lam shared similar views. “Many overseas visitors will also take advantage of the 144-hour visa-free arrangements to come to Hong Kong after their Guangdong tours,” he said.

“This could make up as much as half of the business for local inbound travel agencies,” he said, adding such tours would be more popular with travellers from Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia.

Passengers passing through Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday.

Leung was referring to the 2019 policy that allows visitors from 53 countries – mainly in Europe and the Americas – visa-free transit for up to 144 hours, or six days, when travelling through Guangdong.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong Tourism Board also said it would continue to join hands with cities in the region to build a Greater Bay Area tourism brand.

“[The board] will also drive local travel trade to develop and enhance their multi-destination products, and work together to explore more business opportunities.”

Chairman of the Europe Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and vice-chairman of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, Davide de Rosa, said he planned to visit the mainland soon for the first time in more than three years.

“I think that now restrictions have fully relaxed, Hong Kong business will rebound strongly and the city will keep playing a crucial role as a hub for regional markets,” said de Rosa, who is also a lawyer.

One German businessman, who has lived in Hong Kong for 16 years and works in the import and export trade, said he last travelled to the mainland in January 2020.

The pandemic was hugely challenging for his business, as he explained it was important to meet suppliers and discuss products face to face. Being cut off from the mainland had led to fewer new products being finished during the past three years, he said.

Before the pandemic, he would travel to the mainland two or three times a month. He next planned to go in April.

Travellers gaze out from Hong Kong International Airport.

Johannes Hack, president of the German Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong, visited Guangzhou two weeks ago for the first time since October 2019.

“I’m definitely travelling and enjoying it very much,” Hack said. “I’m happy to have a chance to talk to people face to face. For mutual understanding, nothing is better than ‘being there’.”

Hack said he believed that business would continue to pick up and there would be strong interest for those companies already invested in mainland China to re-establish ties there.

However, he did not expect an imminent influx of tourists from Europe, as he said it would take time for people to believe that the situation had returned to normal on the mainland.

Meanwhile, Inaki Amate, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce, which comprises 13 international chambers, said while he had not yet been to the mainland, the latest relaxation was “great news” for the foreign business community.

One British journalist who has lived in Hong Kong for 2½ years said she was looking forward to her parents being able to visit both the city and the mainland in the summer.

The 32-year-old is set to move to Shanghai in the coming months and said the news of the resumption of foreign tourist travel had come as a relief.

“After so long being in Hong Kong and not being able to bring loved ones over, it’s so good to know my parents will be able to visit us in Shanghai,” she said.

AI Disclaimer: An advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system generated the content of this page on its own. This innovative technology conducts extensive research from a variety of reliable sources, performs rigorous fact-checking and verification, cleans up and balances biased or manipulated content, and presents a minimal factual summary that is just enough yet essential for you to function as an informed and educated citizen. Please keep in mind, however, that this system is an evolving technology, and as a result, the article may contain accidental inaccuracies or errors. We urge you to help us improve our site by reporting any inaccuracies you find using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page. Your helpful feedback helps us improve our system and deliver more precise content. When you find an article of interest here, please look for the full and extensive coverage of this topic in traditional news sources, as they are written by professional journalists that we try to support, not replace. We appreciate your understanding and assistance.

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
America's Got Talent…
Elon Musk has been showered with praise by the Chinese public during his trip to China
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
Drone Attack on Moscow's Wealthiest Neighborhoods Suspected to be Launched by Ukraine
Elon Musk Meets Chinese Finance Minister in Beijing
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
Chinese fighter jet buzzes U.S. Air Force spy plane over South China Sea
Prominent Hacker Forum RaidForums Suffers Substantial Data Breach
Nvidia CEO Huang says firms, individuals without AI expertise will be left behind
WPP Revolutionizes Advertising with NVIDIA's AI Powerhouse
Two US Employees Fired For Chasing Robbers Out Of Store As They Broke ''Company Policy''
Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
The Sussexes' Royal Rebound: Could Harry and Meghan Markle Return to the UK?
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Ukrainian Intelligence Official Admits to Assassination Attempts on Putin
WATCH THIS: democracy in Russia is so bad!
Ed Davey: It is possible for a woman to have a penis
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Steve Jobs introducing Apple's iPhone, exactly 16 years ago.
Banking Behemoth vs Ex-Boss: The PMorgan-Epstein Entanglement
China overtakes Japan as world's top car exporter
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
The official tapes of Trump's deposition in the E. Jean Carroll battery (rape) and defamation case have been released.
King Charles III being crowned.
Newly released video of Donald Trump’s rape trial deposition:
Video: Ukraine MP Punches Russian Representative At Global Meet
El Paso mayor has declared a state of emergency
Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Kremlin with drones in an attempt to kill Putin
Dutch court orders man who fathered 550 kids to stop donating sperm
Kim Kardashian Lookalike Christina Ashten Dies Of Cardiac Arrest, Hours After Plastic Surgery
Samsung has banned employees from using generative AI services such as ChatGPT
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers
A Real woman
Vermont Man Charged with Stalking After Secretly Tracking Woman with Apple AirTag
Elon Musk Statements About Tesla Autopilot Could Be 'Deepfakes,' Lawyers Claim. Judge Evette Pennypacker Does Not Understand How Far and Advanced This Technology Became
Ukraine More Prepared for Counterattack as Reinforcements Arrive
Tucker Carlson is back, soon!