The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) is being considered a tourist draw by many mainland Chinese people, with boat tours to see the mega engineering marvel becoming popular there, but the response from Hongkongers has been rather lukewarm.
Though the world-class infrastructure facility is still under construction and is not expected to be operational at least until May, a number of travel agencies, both in the mainland and in Hong Kong, have begun to offer sight-seeing tours of the multibillion-dollar sea bridge.
In China, multiple travel agencies have recently been soliciting customers by telling them they can enjoy a magnificent view of the bridge with boat tours.
Operators are charging the tourists anywhere from 100 yuan to nearly 600 yuan for the boat tours, which have become quite popular, hk01.com reports.
A sales manager of Guangzhou-based GZL International Travel Service, which began to offer the boat tours in November, said his firm currently has three travel routes that cover the mega bridge.
A one-day trip costs 129 yuan and a two-day tour has been priced at 569 yuan, he said, adding that the tours have become a big hit.
In Hong Kong, Hong Thai Travel Services, Miramar Travel and YMT Travel are also offering similar tours. The tours offered by Hong Thai and Miramar are priced at some HK$300, but the response from Hong Kong people has not been too good.
A hk01.com reporter booked one of the boat tours from Hong Thai, which describes the bridge as “miracle of the world-class level”, only to be told later that the tour was canceled due to insufficient number of participants.
Admitting that there has been no such tour successfully launched so far, a Hong Thai spokesperson blamed low public interest on lack of promotions and cold weather.
The spokesperson said the situation is expected to improve during the Lunar New Year holidays next month.
Yiu Si-wing, a lawmaker representing the tourism sector, said he can understand the contrastive responses to the boat tours in the mainland and in Hong Kong.
With Stonecutters Bridge and Tsing Ma Bridge already in place, it is natural that Hongkongers do not show high interest in another giant one, he said.
But for many mainlanders, especially those living in the northern region, they rarely have the chance to see the ocean and marine bridge structures, which makes the HZMB attractive to them, hk01.com quoted him as saying.
The lawmaker advised Hong Kong travel firms to launch tours targeting mainland customers, allowing the visitors to not only to admire the bridge but also offer other attractions, such as giving them a chance to enjoy Hong Kong seafood and visit the outlying islands.
- Contact us at [email protected]