Tourism trade supports expanding solo visit scheme - RTHK
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Tourism trade supports expanding solo visit scheme

2024-02-23 HKT 11:44
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  • Tourism trade supports expanding solo visit scheme
Tourism representatives on Friday said they welcome the idea of expanding the Individual Visit Scheme for mainlanders, adding that more incentives are also needed to boost tourist spending in the SAR.

Officials have said they are in talks with central authorities on measures to attract more mainland tourists to Hong Kong, including possibly adding more cities to the visit scheme.

At present, people from 49 mainland cities can travel to Hong Kong in an individual capacity and stay for up to a week each time.

Caspar Tsui, executive director of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners, told an RTHK programme that it would be a shot in the arm for the trade if the scheme was expanded.

"In fact, many second- and third-tier mainland cities now have very high purchasing power. To attract more tourists staying overnight, it would definitely be good to allow more visitors from cities more than an hour away to come to Hong Kong," he said.

"The next step is planning cultural, sports, tourism, and conference events in Hong Kong, and coordinating with other nearby cities."

Daniel Leung, an assistant professor at Polytechnic University's school of hotel and tourism management, told the same programme that expanding the scheme could boost tourist spending.

"Currently, the average consumption of each mainland tourist is not very high. So, increasing the number of tourists might be a temporary solution to compensate for the low spending per tourist," he said.

Meanwhile, Timothy Chui, who heads the Hong Kong Tourism Association, said Hong Kong has the capacity to cope with more visitors, adding that he would like to see an increase in the duty-free goods allowance to encourage spending.

Tourism trade supports expanding solo visit scheme