AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Immigration upgrades streamline inbound tourism

The launch of facial recognition tech enhances passenger clearance capacity.

With total visitor arrivals hitting 58.47m in 2017, the Immigration Department has been steadily rolling out a series of product and service upgrades in an effort to increase Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a prime tourist location. 

According to a press release, this includes the extension of the e-Channel service to over 595 in operation to enhance passenger clearance capacity and efficiency. 

The Smart Departure facial recognition service also debuted at the Hong Kong International Airport in October and extended to several other control points by December. 

At the end of the year, over 650,000 visitors have used the Smart Departure service to clear customs at e-channels without prior enrolment. 

The voice-navigated service at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Macau Ferry Terminal and Shenzhen Bay Control Points was similarly extended to the China Ferry Terminal Control Point last December to assist visually impaired persons. 

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