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China adds 8 cities in Individual Visit Scheme

There are now 59 cities included in the program.

The Chinese government has expanded the list of cities covered by the Individual Visit Scheme, allowing people in eight more areas to travel to Hong Kong without joining group tours. 

According to authorities, the new cities are Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, Hohhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Harbin in Heilongjiang Province, Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lanzhou in Gansu Province, Xining in Qinghai Province, Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Chief Executive John Lee noted the eight cities added are all provincial capital cities with large populations, significant economic growth and high spending power. Their inclusion will boost the tourism, retail, catering, hotel and other related sectors, bringing huge economic benefits while promoting two-way visits between Hong Kong and different provincial capitals, he added. 

The official also said this move will facilitate people-to-people bonds between the Mainland and Hong Kong.

Secretary for Culture, Sports & Tourism Kevin Yeung said the government will coordinate with relevant organisations to improve direct flight capacity and other services for travellers from the eight cities. 

In separate statements, Cathay Pacific and HK Express Airways welcomed the recent move from China, noting that this will boost tourism and spur growth and development in Hong Kong. 

ALSO READ: HK Express expands with new route to Sanya

Both airlines also said they look forward to serving more travellers from cities in the Mainland. 

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