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Hong Kong: Full house as city prepares for influx of tourists

The Special Administrative Region (SAR) is bracing itself for the 900,000 mainland visitors expected over the…

The Special Administrative Region (SAR) is bracing itself for the 900,000 mainland visitors expected over the Chinese New Year holiday.

Numbers have been spurred by the relaxation of travel restrictions for mainlanders, many of whom can now come to Hong Kong as individual travellers.

Travel Industry Council executive director, Mr Joseph Tung, said: We expect a 15-20 per cent increase (over last year`s figures).

The numbers are expected despite rumours of a new SARS outbreak. A third suspected victim is now being treated in Guangzhou, but in both China and in Hong Kong the panic and hysteria of last year is notably absent. Health authorities in Hong Kong have stepped up screening and say defensive measures are working.

Hong Kong travel agencies have developed fresh tours to the mainlanders. Hong Thai Travel, for instance, is offering special real estate investment tours and other programmes focus on everything from medical check-ups to insurance buying and share market seminars.

The continuing flood of mainland tourists will create about 20,000 new jobs in Hong Kong, according to figures released by the Bank of East Asia.

It said rising domestic demand would boost employment for low-skilled workers. This could cut the current 8.7 per cent unemployment rate by two per cent.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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