HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Visa accessibility important factor to ignite HK, Macau tourism

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It has been observed that Hong Kong and Macau tourism needs a reboot, and there have been recommendations for this to happen, such as with respect to visa accessibility.

According to a research note from CLSA, visa accessibility is one of the key drivers of inbound tourism. Hong Kong and Macau had their boom from 2003-13 but are now losing market share to other countries as they issue multiple-entry visas to mainland passport holders.

Chinese visitors need “entry-exit permits” (EEPs) for Hong Kong and Macau and passports to visit to other nations.

Here's more from CLSA:

We suggest five possibilities: No visa. People from 168 countries or 75% of the world do not need visas for Hong Kong, but mainland Chinese do.

Holders of EEPs (which are easier to secure than passports) should be able either to visit Hong Kong and Macau visa-free, or else to get multiple-entry visas with an extended time period of five or 10 years.

Mainland passport holders should be able to visit Hong Kong and Macau without visas, or with extended (five- or 10-year) multiple-entry visas.

Expand the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) to more cities. And increasing the frequency of visits under IVS.

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