News dalla rete ITA

3 Aprile 2024

Hong Kong


Hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers swamp border crossings as they leave city on first day of Easter holiday More than 681,000 people flooded out of Hong Kong across its border checkpoints on Friday as they left the city in droves on the first day of the Easter holiday, more than seven times the number of visitors that trickled into the city from mainland China. Immigration Department figures showed that at least 681,412 Hong Kong residents had left the city across all border points by 9pm on Friday and inbound traffic stood at 93,219. The outbound figure surpassed the 2018 pre-pandemic figure of 593,383 on the first day of the holiday. But the number of inbound visitors trailed behind the full-day count recorded on the same day that year, which stood at 148,324. Long queues were seen at various land checkpoints throughout the day, including the Lo Wu crossing and the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus. The MTR Corporation was forced to deploy extra staff to stations along the East Rail line in the morning to cope with the surge in passenger numbers and the company warned travellers to expect delays. The Transport Department issued similar warnings just after 10am as the increased traffic also caused delays for motorists travelling over the Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridges. The department said the land checkpoints would be “very busy” on Saturday morning and warned people to expect a longer waiting time for public transport.A Post check found that, by 3pm, almost all Shenzhen and Guangzhou-bound train tickets for before 7pm on Friday were sold out.Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said he expected a 30 per cent decline in turnover for local catering businesses over the holiday. “Many mainland cities have rolled out a wide array of activities and incentives to entice travellers. It is a headache trying to get Hongkongers to spend the holiday at home.”He added that the sector’s concerns would intensify this year as Hongkongers might extend their break because of the Ching Ming Festival holiday next Thursday. Easter Sunday falls on March 31 and the traditional Chinese tomb-sweeping day to honour ancestors is on April 4. Easter is not a public holiday on the mainland.The city is at present hosting Art Basel Hong Kong, Asia’s largest contemporary art fair at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, along with Art Central at the Central Harbourfront.Authorities have also launched the Art@Harbour project, displaying large-scale outdoor artworks on both sides of the Victoria Harbour. At the section of Nathan Road that leads to the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui – one of the major attractions in the city – the Post observed the flow of people was much smaller than the usual numbers on a Saturday.Hong Kong Tourism Association executive director Timothy Chui Ting-pong said he expected a surge in mainland tourists during next month’s Labour Day “golden week” holiday. He also hoped that Beijing would add more mainland cities to the list of ones whose residents can visit Hong Kong as solo travellers. More than 1.71 million visitors entered the city during the five-day Labour Day holiday last year. Mainland tourists accounted for 625,538, or 36.6 per cent of the total. Mainland arrivals beat earlier expectations, but still fell short of the 997,663 mark set over four days in 2019. The holiday will run from May 1 to 5 this year. The Immigration Department earlier estimated that visitors and residents would make 11 million inbound and outbound trips over the holiday weekend and Ching Ming Festival. (ICE HONG KONG)

Fonte notizia: South China Morning Post