Hong Kong Tourism Board chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok has urged the government to think carefully before any revision in the policy on individual travel scheme for mainlanders, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.
The remarks came as authorities were said to be mulling a proposal to cut the quota for such tourists by 20 percent in response to requests from some sections of the local community.
Lam stressed that the proposed number was only a discussion topic. Before making any policy change, the government should consider its impact on the economy, the society and the tourism industry, he said.
Cutting the number of mainland tourists may put at stake some jobs in the hospitality and retail sectors, Lam said.
Geopolitical situations in nearby countries, foreign exchange rate movements and new touristic spots in the city can also make a difference to the number of tourists visiting Hong Kong, the tourism chief added.
According to the preliminary data of the government agency, 14 million mainland visitors traveled to Hong Kong during the first four months of this year, up 18 percent from a year ago.
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