Tourists not keen on travelling to Hong Kong under current restrictions

It was thought that the relaxation of pre-pandemic measures in Hong Kong would see tourists flocking back but that’s not the case.

Travel agents in Hong Kong revealed there is still a dearth of visitors to the special administrative region of China despite the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

Hong Kong travel agencies made known that tourists are coming back in dribs and drabs rather than in organized tour groups but believe the current 0+3 rule is putting people off.

There is no quarantine as such, but all visitors must check their health for three days on arrival. During those three days arrivals are barred from entering restaurants, pubs, theme parks and museums, and they must be tested regularly for coronavirus symptoms.

Today, the Hong Kong government announced that group tours with licensed guides arriving would be allowed to enter tourist attractions during the proposed three days of health surveillance later this month.

The Travel Industry Council (TIC) said it expected groups of 10 to 20 people to come from Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Tourists not keen on travelling to Hong Kong under current restrictions | News by Thaiger

TIC chairwoman Gianna Hsu Wong Mei-lun revealed that a tour group from Thailand arrives on Sunday next week and benefits from the coming relaxation. But the industry was still discussing the practical arrangements of the eased regime with the government.

Hans & Hana Tour, of South Korea, said it was aware of the changes but had not heard from its Seoul head office about resuming group visits.

Prior to the 2019 anti-government protests and the Covid pandemic in 2020 Hans & Hana Tour handled 3,000 to 6,000 South Korean visitors on group tours to Hong Kong every month.

Another South Korean travel agency, Very Good Tour, did not expect a big response, as visitors still had to undergo tests for Covid-19.

Rakso Travel in the Philippines is another not planning any group tours to Hong Kong just yet.

Singapore-based Chan Brothers, and Dynasty Travel said they had no tours planned for Hong Kong while a Tourism Authority of Thailand spokesperson said Thais were keen to visit Hong Kong but added that people needed time to decide whether to plan their trips.

Hong Kong scrapped the seven-day mandatory hotel quarantine and introduced the 0+3 measures on September 26. Hsu from TIC said licensed travel agents were not able to put together any tours before the 0+3 scheme was launched.

Before the pandemic, about four in five visitors to Hong Kong came from mainland China. Most arriving tour groups were from there too.

The mainland, with its zero-Covid policy, stopped issuing tourist visas to residents to travel to Hong Kong in January 2020 and has not announced plans to resume.

On Friday, China announced a relaxation of its quarantine measures. Now, incoming visitors are required to spend five days in hotel quarantine, instead of seven, followed by three days of isolation at home.

World News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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