Beijing to set limit on mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong
Beijing is to impose a limit on the number of mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong, a politician and media said Sunday, after a series of protests against the influx from over the border.
The southern Chinese city has been inundated by a stream of tourists from mainland China, who often pay short visits to the city to snap up daily necessities from baby formula to nappies.
The so-called parallel traders, who dodge hefty tariffs on their return, have become a source of tension in the semi-autonomous city leading to angry rallies where protesters clashed with police.
“Too many people are coming through the unlimited entry permits. (Imposing a limit) is a step forward,” Michael Tien, a member of the National People’s Congress, China’s de facto parliament, told reporters Sunday.
The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post described the policy as “one visit per week” for residents of Shenzhen, citing unnamed sources.
Shenzhen residents can currently visit Hong Kong as often as they like with a multiple entry permit.
The paper said the cap could reduce the number of tourists by 4.6 million.
Last year, about 47 million mainland visitors streamed to Hong Kong, dwarfing the city’s population of 7 million.
A government spokesman confirmed that a proposal had been made to Chinese government, adding “any adjustment of the ‘multiple-entry’ policies will be announced by the Central Government.”
Hong Kong only opened up to Chinese tourists in 2003 as part of a bid to revive its economy following an outbreak of SARS. Previously mainland Chinese were only allowed to visit as part of an organized tour.
China to ‘blacklist’ its Unruly
China will create a “blacklist” of its tourists who behave badly overseas, state-media reported, after several embarrassing incidents involving Chinese traveling abroad.
The country’s National Tourism Administration (NTA) will keep a database of travelers who commit offenses, with their names passed onto police, customs officials and even banks, the official Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.
Offences that could earn obnoxious tourists a place on the blacklist include “acting antisocially on public transport, damaging private or public property, disrespecting local customs, sabotaging historical exhibits or engaging in gambling or pornographic activities,” Xinhua said.
People will be blacklisted for two years after they offend, it added.
China’s economy has boomed over the past decade, expand- ing the ranks of its middle-class who are hungry for foreign travel after the country’s decades of isolation in the last century.
Chinese travelers took 100 million “outbound” trips — including to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan — last year, according to official figures.
But the surge of wanderlust has left some officials back home red-faced and the blacklist is the latest of China’s efforts to control its citizens behavior abroad.
Chinese tourists were reported to have outraged locals in Thailand this year by drying underwear in an airport, defecating in public and kicking a bell at a temple.
Several air rage incidents — including Chinese passengers opening emergency exit doors and throwing boiling noodles at cabin crew — have also been reported in the last year.
In 2013, a Chinese sparked online outrage after he wrote his name on an ancient carving in Egypt.
The NTA said in a 64-page “Guidebook for Civilized Tourism,” issued in 2013, that tourists should not pick their noses in public, urinate in pools or steal airplane life jackets.
Chinese t ravelers spent US$ 102 billion overseas in 2012, making them the world’s biggest spenders ahead of German and U.S. tourists, according to the U.N. World Tourism Organization.