Hong Kong to Attract More Mainland Tourists During Week-long Holiday

A large number of tourists from the Chinese mainland is expected to travel in Hong Kong during the week-long holidays, starting from May 1, the Labor Day.

In the following week, around 40,000 mainland tourists are estimated to cross the border at Lo Wu, the busiest checkpoint between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the mainland, according to the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Many mainland tourists arrived in Hong Kong before May 1. The Immigration Department had increased staff members to handle the influx of passengers at various checkpoints.

Local travel agencies said they would receive more visitors during the week-long holidays this year than that in last May, adding that the abolition of quota for mainland tourists this yearhas enabled more mainlanders to travel in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Tourism Board forecast that some 500,000 mainland tourists would travel in Hong Kong in May, up 20 percent over the same period of last year.

With the influx of tourists, most of the hotels and restaurantsin Hong Kong were full to their largest capacity and their hotel charges rose around 30 to 40 percent. Some travel agencies had to cancel planned tours, owing to the shortage of hotel rooms.

The retailers also found the "golden tour week" in May to be a lucrative chance for doing business.

A gold store manager said that the turnover in recent days climbed up 20 percent, with tourists from the Chinese mainland accounting for 80 percent of its customers.

( Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2002)