• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 5:39am

Chinese tourists

China's Vice-Premier Wang Yang in May 2013 acknowledged that "uncivilised behaviour" by its citizens abroad was harming the country's image. He cited "talking loudly in public places, jaywalking, spitting and wilfully carving characters on items in scenic zones". Destination countries have been easing visa restrictions to attract more tourists from China, but reports have emerged of complaints about etiquette.

NewsHong Kong
LUNAR NEW YEAR

Macau reduced to a shuffle as mainland Chinese tourists flood in

Main checkpoint will deal with more than five times the city's population over the holiday

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 February, 2014, 4:56pm

A sense of frustration prevailed among Macau residents over the Lunar New Year as hundreds of thousands of mainland tourists swamped the city.

About 2.7 million people, mostly mainlanders and a smaller portion of Macanese, are expected to have crossed in and out of Macau at the main Gongbei Port checkpoint at Zhuhai by the end of the week-long holiday - more than five times the SAR's population of just over 550,000.

Some 200,000 mainlanders crossed the border into Macau on Sunday alone.

People queueing at 11am for the Hong Kong to Macau Turbojet ferry found themselves having to wait for ferries after 2pm. In Macau it was worse, with tickets sold at 11am for ferries after 11pm.

The former Portuguese colony is less than 3 per cent the size of Hong Kong and tourists were squeezing shoulder to shoulder up the lane to the Ruins of St Paul's. The Post counted more than 150 people walk past one point in a minute.

In an unprecedented move, the government imposed a policed, one-way pedestrian system to ease the flow of people along the main thoroughfare, the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro.

Local pro-Beijing media and mainland tourists said the crowd-control measure was "effective", but residents told the South China Morning Post it made life more difficult.

"What's normally a five-minute walk has become 15 minutes, if not longer," said June Chan Yun-wai, who was headed to a pharmacy when she got caught up among the thousands of people in Largo de Senado, the square in the centre of Macau, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Queues at bus stops stretched down the street as people were unable to fit onto crowded buses.

Newspaper vendor Ben Lai Hou-kei, whose stall has stood near the square for four decades, said it was more crowded than last Lunar New Year. "There was little planning by the government," he said. "And the ruthless pace of mainlanders conflicts with the local way of life."

Zhu Ruiting, from Zhuhai, said she had expected the crowds as it was her third Lunar New Year holiday in the SAR. Chen Bin, from Guangxi province, complained of overcharging by taxi drivers and his hotel.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, NeoDemocrats legislator Gary Fan Kwok-wai and Roy Tam Hoi-bong, convenor of a concern group on population policy, were among activists in Mongkok handing out banners saying: "Reduce the solo travellers scheme."

They urged mainlanders not to come to the city as it had reached capacity.

Additional reporting by Johnny Tam

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

8

This article is now closed to comments

Dao-Phooy
A sign of things to come for HK unless this Government gets a grip and actually prepares realistic policies to prevent us from being swamped in the near future. What a horrible prospect in store for us otherwise!
likingming
Love to see eveything is in order.
Love to see so many happy tourists with so many smiling faces in this festive season.
Love to see the macau locals to get this new year bonanza.
goncalo
The "Macau locals" who mostly "get this new year bonanza" are actually HK locals (e.g. the Ho and Lui families), US locals (Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson, etc), Australia locals (e.g. James Packer) and Mainland locals (the usual suspects). What the real Macau locals get is driving taxis and waiting at restaurant tables.
goncalo
Macau residents who can afford it go abroad during the holidays. Those who cannot afford it just stay locked at home waiting for the ****s invasion to subside.
aplucky1
while our respective local governments standby and watch it all happen
so sad and pitiful
ognevodd
Normally, with that kind of crowding, you would expect that at some point tourists will abandon the idea of a trip to Macau and go to other nearby destinations instead, such as Thailand or Vietnam. However, that doesn't seem to be the case with Chinese tourists in Macau. I can envision long discussions about why.
chaz_hen
Very simple. I've been told numerous times by Chinese that "We Chinese love re nao" (热闹)
huangjihang
However, you can't stop the trend
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or