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HK 12 years: Rising cooperation between Mainland, Hong Kong tourism

2009-06-28 09:49 BJT


The central government has been gradually easing up on policies to allow more mainland tourists to visit Hong Kong. This has brought close to 100 million visitors to the special administrative region, giving a big boost to the local economy. In today's special series looking back at achievements in the 12 years since Hong Kong returned to China, we take a brief look at rising cooperation in the sector of tourism.

As the People's Republic of China turns sixty this October, tourism agencies are taking advantage of the special occasion to encourage more people to visit Hong Kong. Sixty people will be selected to visit the region free-of-charge. And, Hong Kong authorities have just launched a two-month summer shopping season, hoping to generate more consumption.

After the outbreak of the SARS epidemic in 2003, Hong Kong's economy encountered a difficult period. And it is now suffering from the effects of the global recession. The central government has loosened policies to make travel to Hong Kong more convenient for mainland tourists. In the past six years, mainland tourists helped the tourism industry in Hong Kong to expand, creating 20-thousand new jobs, and 60 billion Hong Kong dollars in income.

Ye Zhende, mainland director of Hong Kong Tourism Board, said, "They are exciting statistics. We helped each other and overcame the tough times. "

Man Hongwei, director General of Taiwan, HK, Macao Official National Tourism Administration, said, "Mainland and Hong Kong have become each other's biggest tourism market. It's a win-win situation in terms of information exchange, promotion, and market management. "

There used to be only four cities and districts in Guangdong province whose residents were allowed to visit Hong Kong. Now, nearly 50 cities in the mainland have established tourism cooperation with Hong Kong. And just two months ago, Shenzhen initiated a trial operation. Its residents now only need to apply for a travel permit once a year and they do not have any limit on the number of times they can visit the special administrative region. Authorities believe this can help bring an extra 50-million tourists to Hong Kong every year.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: