• Thu
  • Oct 16, 2014
  • Updated: 2:17pm
NewsHong Kong
TOURISM

China officials considered Hong Kong travel alert over mainland visitor protests

Anti-mainlander protests prompted officials to confer with Exco member

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 5:17pm
 

It crossed the minds of mainland officials to issue a travel alert against Hong Kong in the wake of local protests that targeted visitors from across the border, a Beijing loyalist revealed yesterday.

Executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong said officials had once sought his opinion on whether the National Tourism Administration should warn mainlanders travelling to Hong Kong of a growing anti-mainland sentiment in the city.

"I told them never to do this to Hong Kong," Cheng, a veteran Hong Kong delegate to the National People's Congress, told a Commercial Radio programme.

"Not only would the retail and hotel industries suffer, but the entire working class would, too." He hinted that the officials who contacted him were not high ranking, but said it was possible that relevant mainland bureaus, or even the central leadership, shared the same thought.

Antagonism towards mainlanders has flared up this year, after the government in mid-January predicted 70 million arrivals in 2017. Of the roughly 54.3 million visitors last year, 70 per cent were from the mainland.

The news stoked fears resources would be overwhelmed. The more radical protesters told Putonghua-speaking shoppers in Tsim Sha Tsui to leave the city, attracting condemnation from top officials, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

But despite Cheng's revelation, the mainland tourism office's weibo account, a channel for official announcements, showed no sign of disappointment in the city's hospitality.

Cheng's pro-establishment allies, including Ip Kwok-him of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said they had not heard of such an idea.

Liberal Party leader and legislator James Tien Pei-chun called it "absurd". "The central government has not even sanctioned places such as Xinjiang or Tibet ," Tien said, referring to ethnically restive regions.

Hong Thai Travel Services director Jason Wong Chun-tat, who sits on a number of government advisory boards, said he believed Beijing remained supportive of the city's tourism industry.

 

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12

This article is now closed to comments

nmp_inc
Slick SCMP propaganda. They already know the most sensational claims have been dispelled - yet they run with a 'non-story' attempting to turn it in to a story. Tien's comment applies to this article: absurd. The only thing 'newsworthy' about this story is that Cheng Yiu-tong didn't make absurd comments about **** stars becoming the next chief executive.
babyhenry
seriously did scmp just filter the word "P00rn'?
CD
the central government is still suppotive to HK? i do not think so ... we hate each other(it seems) and we should drop in economic communication forever(its best)...
nicolas
all this Cheng Yiu-tong know is about mainlander tourist or their money...why don't he ask himself what are the cause of this high sentiment in HK nowadays...influx of mainlander have cause tremendous depletion in foreign tourist in HK...WHY ? simply, because foreigner can no longer visit both dream park such as Disneyland and Ocean park....they can't even take the Peak Tram either to visit "The Peak"...these are few of the famous tourist parks in HK....influx of mainlanders also bring their bad habit with them to the territories such as spitting and shouting in public...this causes nuisance and irritation to the HK society as well...they looks like a bunch of STUPID and MORON...WHAT AN UNCIVILIZED PEOPLE....NOW they're stealing the benefit enjoy by HK resident such as free education and subsidized public hospital....they're look like parasite....
blue
"If hkongers believe we are hard working and as smart as Singaporean, why would we need help from China?"

Speakfreely, you are really ignorant and you love to babble.
hk.sistercat
Oh, please, please, stop the tourist from China and kill off Hong Kong now... Hong Kong is dying a slow death, finish Hong Kong off now!
rawlie
Oh no! Please, CCP. Please keep allowing tens of thousands of ignorant peasants coming into Hong Kong everyday! It just wouldn't seem right not seeing toddlers urinating whilst being held over rubbish bins in MTR stations in our fair SAR. The enjoyment factor of visiting attractions such as Disneyland, Ocean Park and the peak just wouldn't be the same without the screech of Anhui Mandarin and the sharpened elbows of toothless hags and harridans adding to the experience. Please... send more to buy up all the milk powder and keep the housing bubble propped up!
Oh, go on then... if you insist on placing a blanket travel ban, I guess we can reluctantly accept it!
mymak
A hollow threat from Beijing. Honestly, do you think they (the CCP) would issue a travel alert in their own country? What a loss of face at home and abroad were they to do such a thing.
SpeakFreely
It is about time for hk to wake up to catch up with singapore which grew faster without the help of China...
raglan
Ignorant statement. SG was structured to be the financial & trade hub for SEA just as HK was structured as the hub for southern China, you just can't 'wake up' and change the structure of the economy overnight. Obviously it is you that needs to wake up and get some education.

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