Co-ordination measures drawn up for visitors to Hong Kong during Chinese New Year Golden Week
The Tourism Commission, in co-operation with relevant government departments, major tourist attractions, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC), has drawn up measures to cope with the tourist flow between Hong Kong and the Mainland during the Chinese New Year Golden Week (February 4 to 10), a Government spokesman said today (February 1).
Relevant government departments will strengthen manpower at all control points and co-ordinate transport and cross-boundary services during the Chinese New Year Golden Week.
The Inter-departmental Joint Command Centre set up by the Immigration Department, the Police, the Customs and Excise Department (Customs) and other relevant departments will be activated during the period to monitor the situation at each land control point, as well as to maintain close liaison with Mainland counterparts and take contingency actions where necessary.
The Tourism Commission will maintain effective communication with the tourism authorities in Guangdong and Shenzhen through the mechanism of information exchange and emergency handling for Golden Weeks.
"It is expected that the passenger traffic from February 4 to 10 will be heavier than usual. To avoid congestion during the morning and evening peak hours at various boundary control points, we urge Mainland visitors and local residents to cross the boundary during less busy hours," the spokesman said.
To assist visitors in planning their trips, the Immigration Department will upload the daily arrival figures of all control points to its website (www.immd.gov.hk) from February 5 to 11. Such information will also be hyperlinked to the HKTB's website (www.discoverhongkong.com) for visitors' reference. In addition, visitors may check the estimated waiting time at all land boundary control points via the Immigration Mobile Application, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store (supports iOS version 9.0 or above) and Google Play (supports Android version 5.0 or above).
Under the co-ordination of the Tourism Commission, major tourist attractions will extend their opening hours and put in place crowd control measures and contingency arrangements during the Chinese New Year Golden Week. The Tourism Commission, in collaboration with the TIC, will also appeal to travel agents, shops and restaurants serving Mainland inbound tour groups to implement appropriate measures for the orderly management of tourist and coach flows.
As regards consumer education, the Tourism Commission and the HKTB have deployed staff to distribute to Mainland visitors souvenirs or leaflets printed with education messages at various control points and popular tourist destinations respectively, so as to enhance their awareness of protecting their own rights. An advisory note on consumer rights for Mainland inbound tour group visitors has also been uploaded to the website of the Tourism Commission for Mainland visitors' reference.
To protect inbound tour group visitors' rights, the TIC will continue to enforce a series of regulatory measures on the trade's arrangements for receiving Mainland inbound tour groups, which include requiring Hong Kong travel agents to register with the TIC the itineraries of the Mainland inbound tour groups that they receive together with proof of accommodation within a specified period. During the Chinese New Year Golden Week, the TIC will deploy additional manpower for conducting inspections in districts where relatively more registered shops are located and offer immediate assistance to visitors and tourist guides. In addition, Customs and the Police will step up inspection of retail shops serving Mainland inbound tour groups so as to combat unfair trade practices such as coerced shopping.
The Tourism Commission has provided the hotlines of the relevant local organisations to Mainland inbound group visitors via the tourism authorities in Guangdong and Shenzhen. During the Chinese New Year Golden Week, in case of any emergency, Mainland inbound tour group visitors, tour escorts accompanying the tour groups and local tourist guides can seek assistance from the TIC by calling its service hotline 2807 0707 (operating from 9am to midnight). For enquiries or complaints, visitors can call the HKTB's hotline 2508 1234 (operating from 9am to 6pm) or the Consumer Council's hotline 2929 2222 (operating from 9am to 5.30pm).
Ends/Friday, February 1, 2019