Date
24 September 2017
Hong Kong's retail and hospitality sectors will be hurt by any cut in the quota on mainland visitors, observers warn. Photo: Xinhua
Hong Kong's retail and hospitality sectors will be hurt by any cut in the quota on mainland visitors, observers warn. Photo: Xinhua

Curbs on mainland visitors will mean economic costs: Gregory So

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So Kam-leung, has called on the public to consider the potential consequences of any reduction in the number of mainland travelers that are allowed to visit the city.

Any cut in the visitor quota could affect the local economy and a variety of industries, So warned Thursday, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

The government will carefully study the potential economic costs of any proposed change in the number or structure of mainland visitors, the official said.

Mainland tourist arrivals in Hong Kong were down 2.5 percent during the recent Dragon Boat festival holiday, compared with the same festive period last year. It marked the first such decline since 2010. Meanwhile, retail sales in the city fell 9.8 percent in April, in terms of value, from a year ago.

Although, it is not yet clear whether the declines point to a continuing trend, the public should not take for granted that the number of tourists to the city will continue to grow, So said.

He said the government is yet to decide whether it should change the multiple entry policy on individual mainlanders. Authorities have to solicit views from the central government in the event of any proposed changes to the rules on the individual visit scheme, he said.

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Freelance journalist

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