Cancelation of discriminatory restrictions on Hong Kong tourists necessary: govt

Hong Kong’s tourism chief said on Tuesday that the government is in negotiation with multiple foreign countries - which earlier issued restricting rules for visitors from China, Hong Kong, and Macau - to scrap the discriminatory limits.

His speech came after multiple countries, including Japan, South Korea, the United States, etc., announced a series of inbound restrictions - including reducing flights from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, limiting where flights can land, and requiring travelers from the places to show a negative Covid-19 test result upon their trips - after Beijing reopened its border to the world on January 8.

"We are making a great effort to stress our anti-pandemic work to authorities of these countries," Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said in a meeting at the legislative council today, "we hope they will understand the current situation in Hong Kong."

He added the government is studying to hold more major events in March to attract tourists to Hong Kong.

The whole number of inbound travelers to Hong Kong in 2021 marked 660,000, less than one percent of the figure in 2018, said tourism functional constituency lawmaker Yiu Pak-leung.

Yeung responded that the government would try its best to boost the tourism industry in the city, adding a fund of HK$448 million will be granted to support it.

"The industry regulator will also implement a three-year funding scheme for the training of tourism workers, hoping to assist the industry in rebuilding its team," Yeung said.