In this Jan 22, 2023 photo, artists perform dragon dance in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, south China. The Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions have seen a record number of visitors over the Lunar New Year holidays. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
The Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions have seen a record number of visitors over the Lunar New Year holidays – the highest in three years since the pandemic outbreak – following the relaxation of inbound travel restrictions.
Between Lunar New Year’s Eve on Jan 21 and Jan 27, Macao’s visitor numbers jumped by almost 300 percent from last year’s COVID-19 lows – with 451,000 visitor arrivals – according to the city’s public security police.
According to the Immigration Department, more than 540,000 visitors flocked to the city from Jan 21 to Jan 26, rekindling the city’s bustling districts
The jubilant mood was also evident in Hong Kong. According to the Immigration Department, more than 540,000 visitors flocked to the city from Jan 21 to Jan 26, rekindling the city’s bustling districts.
Tourists from the Chinese mainland contributed the bulk to the travel boom in the two SARs. The number of transactions made by mainland travelers to Macao through the electronic payment platform Alipay doubled, while that by mainland tourists to Hong Kong rose by nearly 70 percent.
The current mandatory COVID-19 tests required for travel between the HKSAR and the mainland are due to be scrapped in the coming days, according to Tam Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong delegate to the country’s top legislature.
Citing Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Tam said a decision will be made soon, probably in the next few days, on the lifting of nucleic acid tests required for travelers.
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