Tourism industry veterans claimed no significant boost to the sector with the limited easing of entry measures and worried about a new wave of travel businesses going out of business in six month.
The number of inbound arrivals increased by 30% in two weeks after the “0+3” entry approval was issued, according to the Immigration Department. However, most arrivals were Hong Kongers returning to the city, with only 10% coming from overseas.
“Neither business arrival figures nor tourist visits are seeing a rebound after the easing of entry restrictions,” said Gianna Hsu Wong Mei-lun, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Travel Industry Council. .
She noted that travelers expect the full exemption from entry provisions.
“Restrictions on restaurant dining, along with expensive airfare and PCR test requirements, kept visitors from wanting to come to town,” she added.
“It’s hard for us to have hopes if the current entry deals continue,” Hsu said, predicting a “wave of closures” will hit the tourism industry in three to six months.
Timothy Chui Ting-pong, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, said that although Hong Kongers have shown a willingness to travel abroad under current entry arrangements, few have booked their trip.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong confirmed 4,890 new patients reported on Sunday, including 328 imported cases and three deaths.