The Travel Industry Council on Wednesday urged the government to relax social-distancing measures for incoming tour groups to allow people to visit places like theme parks and museums as soon as they arrive in the city.
At present, inbound travellers are given an amber code on arrival which bans them from going to regulated premises for three days, but the TIC’s executive director, Fanny Yeung said she hopes members of tour groups led by local guides will be allowed to go to certain specific attractions.
Speaking on an RTHK programme, Yeung said the TIC had proposed a list of locations, including Disneyland, Ocean Park, the M + Museum, the Palace Museum, the Big Buddha on Lantau and the Wong Tai Sin Temple.
To minimise infection risks, Yeung said the tour groups would travel by coach from point to point, eat meals in separate rooms in restaurants so they won't mingle with other customers, and have their personal details registered with tourism destinations in advance to facilitate contact tracing.
She said this relaxation alone would not revive the sector, but would send a positive message to the rest of the world.
“Actually, the sector knows that not many clients will come at the beginning… but we believe this direction is very important. It will send a message to overseas visitors and our partners that Hong Kong is gradually opening up,” she said.
Yeung said the government had indicated that it accepted the proposal in principle, but it has to hammer out details, such as whether these visitors can eat in theme parks, and what should be done if they contract Covid-19 while in Hong Kong.
She said she hoped a decision could be made this month, so tour groups can visit over the Christmas holiday.
The Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau said in a statement later in the day, that it is looking at offering more convenience for incoming tour groups, so Hong Kong can resume tourism in an orderly and gradual manner while keeping infection-control manageable.
Last updated: 2022-02-11 HKT 14:26