Bei­jing to set limit on main­land Chi­nese vis­i­tors to Hong Kong

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

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

Tourists: Re­port

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.

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