Hong Kong Immigration Department Wednesday said about 1.44 million people are expected to cross the land boundary checkpoints to and from the mainland during the coming Mid-Autumn Festive period.
This represents an increase of 9.4 percent as compared with the same period last year, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said.
The spokesman said the peak period of cross-boundary traffic during the Mid-Autumn Festive period would fall between September 20 and September 23.
He said it is estimated about 1.17 million passengers (daily average of about 294,000) will cross the boundary via the Lo Wu checkpoint, representing 82 percent of the total cross-boundary passenger traffic and an increase of 6.8 percent when compared with the corresponding period of last year.
During the festive period, the number of departing passengers at Lo Wu may reach a peak of 190,000 on September 20 while the peak of arrivals will be on September 22 with 200,000 people returning to Hong Kong. The highest daily traffic is expected to reach 315,000 on September 20.
To cope with the traffic demand, Hong Kong Immigration Department and the Shenzhen authorities will strengthen cooperation and liaison so as to ensure smooth and orderly movements across the boundary, the spokesman stressed.
If needed, the Lo Wu checkpoint will also implement the Contra-Flow Scheme to relieve congestion. In addition, to ensure the smooth entry of mainland group visitors, the Immigration Department has met with the tour operators to discuss about the cooperative measures, the spokesman said.
Moreover, the Immigration Department will deploy more staff during the holidays to expedite the clearance of these group visitors, he added.
(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2002)