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  • Oct 15, 2014
  • Updated: 4:58pm
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Should Hong Kong now curb the number of mainland Chinese visitors it lets in?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 5:50pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 September, 2012, 8:03am

Anger continues to increase among Hong Kong people towards the rising number of mainland visitors coming to the city each day. The latest crackdown on parallel trading has fuelled further resentment towards mainlanders.

Last year saw a 24 per cent rise in mainland visitors coming to Hong Kong from 2010 – bringing the total figure in 2011 to 28 million. Many commentators and government officials say the huge influx of visitors has brought Hong Kong significant economic benefits. Much of the retail spending in Hong Kong is still driven by mainland consumers and this provides one of the city’s biggest sources of employment.

But not every sector of the economy is booming, new statistics show. Hong Kong retailers, for example, reported having their worst sales performance this year since 2009 – despite the increase in mainland shoppers. Some Hongkongers argue that inflationary pressures on food, rents and other items have offset many of the gains achieved by having more mainland Chinese shoppers. Others say the city is becoming more crowded with more pressure being placed on Hong Kong’s public transport system.

More than half of Hongkongers polled in a recent Chinese University survey believe the individual visitor schemes should be more strictly controlled. About 70 per cent of those polled blamed mainland visitors for rising prices. However, some 60 per cent also acknowledged that mainland visitors had helped Hong Kong’s economy.

So should Hong Kong now curb the number of mainland Chinese visitors it lets in?

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wonambc
To certain extent, HK should because the influx of visitors- over 20M from China outpaces the capacity in Hong Kong. Without prejudicing mainlanders, the governemnt may consider to impose a small sum of arrival tax for foreigner/vistors to Hong Kong. This serves 2 purposes: firstly to increase the inland revenue and secondly, to raise the bar of coming to HK especilly those frequent travellers are traders.
caractacus
Absolutely not. People forget that most HK residents or their parents or grandparents arrived from China, so aren't the Antis guilty of applying a snobbish double standard? Mainland tourists spend their money on goods and services in HK; what's wrong with that? The visitors have nothing to do with the social problems of mainland mothers coming to give birth, smuggled mainland cash inflating the property market or the overloading of the health service etc.
captam
No , but if Hong Kong does so, then Shenzhen authorities should also limit the number Hong Kong residents entering their side of the boundary every weekend and public holiday.......'t i t for tat' , I say.
scottgem
yes mainlanders have helped the HK conomy especially following SARS but now the numbers are becoming simply too much for HK infrastucture and dare I say ' patience ' is being strained amongst the locals. Especially with mainlanders buying HK property putting most of it out of people's affodability. Enough is enough before this gets out of hand the Govt will have to implement policy before this gets out of control.
honkiepanky
Everyone recognizes the negative impact mainland visitors have been having on Hong Kong, but at the same time there is a widespread belief that these visitors are bringing economic benefits to Hong Kong in the form of increased employment of Hong Kongers. Are these benefits real? I believe they are greatly overstated.
The problem is that the supply of retail space in Hong Kong is more or less fixed and fully utilized. So when mainlanders spend more money here, it isn't possible to open more stores or hire more employees. Instead, prices rise to equilibrate supply and demand -- which is exactly what we have been seeing, with soaring rents causing affordable stores frequented by locals to be replaced by overpriced designer brands catering to tourists.
Besides, even in the best of circumstances, retail is not a high-value-added industry or one that provides a lot of good jobs.
chinacrunch
Another way to look at it is why isn't real wage rising in HK to offset inflation? With the amount of money supply flowing into HK, wages should be increasing PPP.

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