HK agents welcome changes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 November, 2007, 12:00am

Hong Kong's travel and retail sectors have welcomed the proposal to reform the mainland's holiday arrangements, saying it could ease the pressures they faced when dealing with sudden influxes of tourists.

'It is such good news,' Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said. 'During golden weeks, the drastic increase of tourists creates headaches for us. It is almost impossible to arrange so many hotel rooms and logistic facilities all of a sudden.'

The council expects the annual number of mainland visitors will continue to grow under the changed arrangements.

Simon Hau Suk-Kei, of the HK Inbound Tour Operations Association executive committee, agreed.

'Many mainland tourists prefer not coming here during the peak times in order to avoid the crowd. They think they can enjoy better services if they choose another time,' he said.

According to Tourism Board figures, there were 1.21 million visitors from the mainland in May this year, up 16 per cent from the same period last year. The figure represented 55.1 per cent of the total number of tourists in the city that month.