• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 1:58pm
NewsHong Kong
TOURISM

Think tank tells Beijing number of mainlanders visiting Hong Kong could be cut

Report to central government notes inconveniences influx causes to city residents

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 6:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 May, 2014, 6:11pm

Researchers for the central government have suggested cutting the number of mainland tourists to Hong Kong.

"We agree there have been too many individual travellers visiting Hong Kong in recent years, causing various kinds of inconvenience for Hong Kong residents," said a researcher whose team had submitted a report on the subject to the top leadership.

"We note that mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong has serious reservations about the phenomena [and] suggested in our reports to the central government that there was a need to adjust the number of mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong," the researcher said.

The researcher's team had made frequent trips to the city to interview residents about their opinions on the influx.

The news comes days after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying sought input from members of the Commission on Strategic Development over the possibility of a 20 per cent cut in the 40 million mainlanders visiting Hong Kong every year.

Leung later played down suggestions the government was considering cutting the number of mainland visitors, saying it was merely considering views about how to handle the influx, which it projects will reach 100 million annually by 2020.

A Hong Kong government source said the chief executive raised the figure of 20 per cent only to prompt discussion. No decision has been made on what reductions, if any, should be made on the number of mainland tourists.

The mainland researcher said that it was up to the Hong Kong government to propose any such reduction. "The central government would not hesitate to approve whatever proposal is put forward by the Hong Kong government," said the researcher.

Beijing increased intelligence gathering on Hong Kong after half a million people took to the streets on July 1, 2003 to oppose a national security law that critics said would have limited people's freedom. The scale of the protest caught the Hong Kong and central governments off guard and forced the authorities to shelve the plan.

Since then, Beijing has regularly dispatched researchers to talk to people from all walks of life in Hong Kong. They regularly submit reports based on their observations and interviews.

In March, Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People's Congress, told a closed meeting with Hong Kong deputies at the annual NPC session in Beijing that Hong Kong's capacity to welcome mainland tourists was a matter of concern for the central government.

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13

This article is now closed to comments

fmhung
Should be cut down to only 20% from what it is now. That's more reasonable.
John Adams
It seems that Beijing is a lot more in touch with the feelings of HK people than are CY and his team
.
It also seems that Beijing has a lot more common sense than CY and his team !
daily
Enough talk...........let's start and see some action...........Start with the 20% now!!!!!!!!!!!
icwu
Our so called 'think tank' should not give any thought to this issue. First of all its against Hong Kong's traditional culture and core values. It'll hurt Hong Kong's image, employment and ultimately its economy. Its a silly issue and people are just playing politics with it. We should instead think of a VAT or 'sales' tax to diversify and increase our tax base.
HK-Lover
The government and CY Leung know the problems very well and know what to do .
But they are always too afraid that they will displease Beijing and/or the tycoons.
We need a government which has the guts to act in the best interest of the Hong Kong people !
meoii
If reducing tourist numbers is a sign of vote buying or increasing approval ratings...it won't last long. (It just takes one mainland tourist to cause a ruckus and make the situation go viral). This will end up being another botched quick fix solution. I just see HK going backwards.
icwu
Hong Kong has always welcome people from outside especially those from mainland China over the years, who have contributed substantially to Hong Kong's prosperity. This is one of Hong Kong's traditional cultural and core values, which has made Hong Kong great and what it is now. When we chose to defend our core values, we must not be selective. Nowadays, their are plenty talks that say what Hong Kong people want, but, however, on any of these issues there has never been any public referendum taken. Its time we stop these self-serving political talks, which only create noise and confuse our society.
Meantime, we have plenty of land around to develop facilities to accommodate present and potential future demands whatever. Our government should instead spend more time and energy in making these lands available to developers for the purpose.
HK-Explorer
Instead of cutting the #s they should cap it at 40 million for 4 years. Just keep it at current levels.
Tourists have done allot of great things for HK (economy, revitalize old areas, bring in investment to tear down old buildings) but they have also crowded out several districts.
Developers would not have poured money into revitalizing old shopping malls and building new ones if there were not the increase in tourists.
I came to HK 17 years ago. Shopping malls were garbage and outdated, there were allot of old dumpy streets. Government estate malls were dingy, smelly, allot of stores empty. they were not that appealing. Allot of places selling fake CDs.
When people talk about all these mom and pop stores that disappeared, while this indeed happened but I don't think there were that many good ones anyway.
Most places are allot nicer, cleaner and advanced now. I think people have a rosy picture of the past that was maybe not as rosy as they think.
aplucky1
wow you should start your own "think tank" u got it all sorted out
culture and core values is to allow a foreign nation allow its peasants to overun the country?
lenali2003
Without doubts, tourism industry is somehow one of the most important elements sustaining the prosperity of Hong Kong. Yet, It is glad that the government finally realises the over0reliance on mainland tourists. Personally, i suggests her banning mainlanders' multiple-entry permits which should be the most feasible and a considerably effective way.

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