HK calls on Guangdong to help stem flow of bridge tourists

Local | 6 Nov 2018 11:48 am

The Acting Chief Executive, Teresa Cheng, said the government has written to Guangdong authorities over reports that tour groups illegally organized by some operators are arriving in Hong Kong after the Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opened, leading to complaints of some residential areas getting swamped by the visitors, RTHK reports.

Tour operators on the mainland are required to work with Hong Kong travel agencies if they want to bring visitors across the border.

Residents in Tung Chung complained the area has been overwhelmed by a sudden influx of tourists. The town has been hit the hardest as it is closest to the Hong Kong checkpoint of the new bridge, which opened last month.

Speaking to reporters before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Teresa Cheng said she hopes the problem could be tackled "at the source” of the problem.

She added that the Transport Department would make arrangements to divert some of the visitors to other districts in Hong Kong for sightseeing. She also said the department would make sure there are adequate public transport services for Tung Chung residents.

Speaking on an RTHK program, the executive director of Hong Kong Tourism Association, Timothy Chui, said he estimated up to 20,000 mainland visitors were brought to Hong Kong by illegal tour groups on Sunday. The figure is much higher than the 14,000 travellers who arrived as registered tour groups.

He said he is surprised as the travelers "appeared out of nowhere.''

The lawmaker representing the tourism industry, Yiu Si-wing, said he thinks the mainland tour guides have violated the laws as they are not allowed to work in Hong Kong.

He urged the police to take action against them.

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