Expansion of Individual Travel Scheme Boosts Hong Kong Tourism

by Alice

The recent expansion of the individual travel scheme allowing residents from additional mainland Chinese cities to visit Hong Kong and Macao independently is expected to significantly benefit Hong Kong’s tourism sector, industry experts say.

Starting May 27, residents from eight more mainland cities, including Lhasa, Lanzhou, Xining, and Urumqi, will be able to travel independently to Hong Kong and Macao. This expansion, announced by the National Immigration Administration, brings the total number of participating cities to 59. Previously, travelers from these cities could only visit on group tours.


Earlier, on March 6, the administration permitted residents of Xi’an and Qingdao to apply for individual travel endorsements for trips to Hong Kong and Macao.


The announcement of expanded eligibility led to a rise in the share prices of tourism and gaming companies listed in Hong Kong on Monday.


Pang Yiu-kai, chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, expressed strong support for the move. “The central government’s inclusion of new cities in the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) twice in three months reflects its full support and confidence in Hong Kong,” he said. “This is a significant boost for Hong Kong’s tourism industry.”

Liza Ng, CEO of Greater Bay Airlines, echoed this optimism, stating her confidence that the initiative will spur the development of various industries and contribute to Hong Kong’s overall economic growth.

The Hong Kong Retail Management Association highlighted the potential business opportunities presented by the scheme’s expansion, with retailers ready to capitalize on the increased influx of visitors.

At the annual general meeting of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, a spokeswoman emphasized the need for continued supportive measures from the central government to help Hong Kong’s tourism industry overcome current challenges.



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