Leung: HK to effectively attract mainland visitors

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2014-01-15 13:53:20

HONG KONG - Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung said Wednesday that Hong Kong needs to attract mainland visitors in an appropriate and orderly manner in light of Hong Kong's economic and social situations.

Delivering his annual policy address at the Legislative Council, Leung said that tourism is one of Hong Kong economy's pillar industries. However, an excessive number or over-concentration of visitors may exert pressure on Hong Kong.

Leung said that the government has discussed the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) and multiple entry permit arrangement with the central government over the past year.

"We have also conveyed the different views of Hong Kong people about the expansion of the IVS. The central government has agreed to a temporary freeze on the number of pilot cities for the IVS and the scope of the multiple entry permit arrangement," Leung said.

"The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government will continue to communicate and coordinate with the relevant Chinese mainland authorities to attract mainland visitors in an appropriate and orderly manner in light of Hong Kong's economic and social situations."

"The government completed a comprehensive assessment of our capacity to receive visitors at the end of last year. The healthy development of the tourism sector can create a large number of jobs for lower-skilled workers and facilitate the diversification and growth of our economy," Leung said in his address.

"We must expand our receiving capacity, focusing on high-spending visitors, to achieve the greatest economic benefits with limited resources. We must also take appropriate and effective steps to ensure that the daily lives of our people will not be affected."

Leung noted that with the commissioning of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in the near future, HKSAR government will actively study the possibility of building more hotels and leisure tourism facilities on Lantau Island.

Leung stressed that the government attaches great importance to the reputation of the tourism sector. "We are drafting new legislation to set up a Travel Industry Authority and will introduce a bill into this council in the next legislative session. "

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