'Cruises won't come back soon after relaxation' - RTHK
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'Cruises won't come back soon after relaxation'

2022-10-01 HKT 13:28
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  • 'Cruises won't come back soon after relaxation'
A travel industry representative on Saturday said she does not expect cruise ships to make a quick return to Hong Kong, after the government announced the scrapping of the suspension mechanism imposed on the industry.

Speaking on an RTHK programme, Executive Director of the Travel Industry Council Fanny Yeung welcomed the move but said it would be months before any ships berthed in the SAR.

"To have a cruise company move its ships back to Hong Kong, firstly, it requires a lot of preparation. The cruise line also has to see which vessels can be brought back. As for when cruise ships can return to Hong Kong, we are not too optimistic. We hope this would happen on or before the second quarter of next year," Yeung said.

She also said the tourism industry had yet to recover, even after the government replaced hotel quarantine with three days of medical surveillance for arrivals.

Yeung believes the so-called "zero plus three" policy was mainly for Hongkongers hoping to return to the territory, adding that she did not see the arrangement bringing in many tourists and business travellers.

Speaking on the same programme, Timothy Chui of the Hong Kong Tourism Association said the hotel industry had been affected by the measure for inbound travellers.

"Now that we have finished our work as quarantine hotels and returned to business to serve local residents and long-term tenants, the staycation market is very competitive. Add this to people wanting to travel overseas and it is really difficult for hotels," he said.

He also suggested that hotels could be used for "reserve quarantine", where people travelling from Hong Kong to the mainland can isolate in the SAR first before crossing the border under a closed-loop arrangement.