Tourism chief says systems are in place to prevent a repeat of last year's chaos The central government has expressed its concern to Hong Kong's security chief over the city's ability to cope with the expected influx of mainland visitors during the forthcoming National Day holiday. But the city's tourism commissioner says Hong Kong and Guangdong officials and the private sector will work closely to ensure that border points can cope with the expected surge in visitors. Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said in Beijing yesterday he had discussed the impact of the recently relaxed immigration policy for mainland travellers with Liao Hui, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. 'Dr Liao was very concerned about Hong Kong's capability to cope and so are we,' Mr Lee said. 'So we have set up an inter-departmental taskforce to handle it.' The taskforce would set up a command centre in Lowu during the National Day holidays - known as the 'golden week' holidays - to oversee the flow of travellers. Mr Lee said the leave and training courses for 335 officers would be suspended so they could be deployed to the border checkpoints. Central government officials also were concerned about the relaxed immigration policy on the law and order situation in the city. Mr Lee said: 'I told Dr Liao about 70,000 solo travellers had arrived in Hong Kong since July 28 and they were mostly law-abiding.' More than 200,000 mainland residents have been granted individual travel permits to visit Hong Kong since the policy change on July 28 and about 70,000 have arrived so far. Commissioner of Tourism Eva Cheng Yu-wah said yesterday she expected more mainland visitors to Hong Kong during the Golden Week holiday this year than last year's 280,000 - most of whom came in tour groups. This year, she expects at least 60,000 to 80,000 visitors will come in on individual travel permits during the holiday. Most would arrive during the first four days of the month, she said. Hong Kong Hotels Association executive director James Lu Shien-kwai said advance hotel bookings were at about 60 to 65 per cent for the 'golden week' and would probably reach 80 to 85 per cent by the week before the holiday. Ms Cheng said measures were being taken by the government to increase capacity for immigration clearance and transportation at all border crossings. Co-ordination between the travel and hotel industries, and with counterparts in Guangdong, had improved, she said. 'We are working with the Guangdong provincial authorities on a notification system' and improved immigration clearance, Ms Cheng said. Last year's National Day holiday was marked by chaos at the Lowu border crossing when thousands of Hong Kong residents and mainland tourists became stranded because of a computer breakdown on the mainland side.