800,000 Mainland tourists expected to visit Hong Kong during the upcoming May Day holiday

1195

20th Apri l 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s tourism industry council estimates that approximately 800,000 Mainland tourists will visit the city during the upcoming May Day holiday, marking a 30% increase compared to the same period last year. Additionally, it is anticipated that there will be around 800 tour groups, involving approximately 26,000 to 28,000 individuals.

Perry Yiu Pak-leung, a tourism sector lawmaker, emphasised the importance of fostering a hospitable image for Hong Kong as the global tourism industry steadily recovers. In a radio program earlier today, Yiu revealed that he had met with government officials last week and proposed measures to ensure smoother immigration processes by diverting excessive tour groups from using the Heung Yuen Wai Control Point and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, thereby facilitating a more streamlined entry experience for visitors.

Yiu further commented on the changing dynamics of tourist influx, pointing out that since the opening of Qingdao and Xi’an for individual travel in March, there has been a notable increase in visitor numbers. These cities were previously accessible to tour groups as well, but the new measures now offer greater convenience to individual travellers. However, Yiu does not anticipate a massive surge in tourist volume during the May Day holiday, although passenger numbers are expected to gradually rise with increased transportation frequencies. He also acknowledged the inherent pattern of Hong Kong residents venturing abroad for leisure and engaging in enthusiastic shopping upon their return, considering it a customary behavior rather than a cause for complaint.

Tommy Cheung, another lawmaker, suggested that authorities should intensify efforts to combat illegal taxi operations in order to enhance the overall tourist experience. He expressed the belief that if Hong Kong excels in welcoming visitors, the central government may open up more cities for individual travel. To ensure satisfactory tourism experiences and promote local consumption, the Hong Kong Tourism Board is set to launch a “courtesy campaign” next month, with participation from the retail, dining, and taxi sectors.

Echoing these sentiments, Peter Shiu, a member of the Legislative Council, highlighted the changing patterns of tourist spending. He recommended that individual shopping centres offer promotions tailored to cater to incoming tourists during May, emphasising the importance of creating a welcoming atmosphere and providing excellent service. In addition to hosting grand events, Shiu suggested organising unique local activities in different districts to attract tourists seeking a deeper exploration of Hong Kong. As an example, he proposed setting up an archway in Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, known as the “dried seafood street,” which would serve as an enticing spot for tourists to capture memorable moments.