Hong Kong has raised its outbound travel alert for Vietnam as violent anti-Chinese protests continue and more are expected, Apple Daily reported Friday.
The alert was raised from yellow to red, the second-highest level on the government’s three-tier system, suggesting travelers will face a significant threat in the Southeast Asian country and should avoid unnecessary trips there. Vietnam is a popular destination for Hong Kong holidaymakers and the authorities are concerned that conditions there could become chaotic.
The Immigration Department said it had received five requests for help as of Thursday afternoon. But some Hong Kong businesspeople in Vietnam said the situation is not as dangerous as it might appear from outside and raising the travel alert seems an overreaction.
So far, 16 Chinese have been killed and nearly 150 injured in the massive riots that erupted on Tuesday, according to some reports. Reports from Taiwan said there could be nationwide anti-China street protests on Sunday and military tension on the China-Vietnam border could rise further.
Members of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council protested Wednesday at Vietnam’s Consulate General in Wan Chai.
At least five travel agencies have canceled more than 20 tours to Vietnam but about 100 Hong Kong tourists on group trips to Vietnam plan to go through with their plans, according to Ming Pao Daily.
The Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong is set to meet travel agencies Friday to discuss contingency plans and arrangements for tour groups.
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