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Free e-visas to attract more Taiwanese travelers to Hong Kong

2012/08/18 21:10:59

Hong Kong, Aug. 18 (CNA) Planned preferential treatment for Taiwanese travelers to Hong Kong that will allow them to apply online for a visa without charge is expected to attract more visitors, a Hong Kong tour operator association said Saturday.

The new measure, scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, will in particular attract young travelers, said Ricky Tse, chairman of the Hong Kong Inbound Tour Operators Association.

Thanks to the online visa application measure, the number of visitors to Hong Kong is expected to increase by 10 percent this year, Tse said.

"Every walk of life in Hong Kong will benefit from that," he said.

The Hong Kong-based China Travel Service Ltd. said it is already planning preferential tour packages for Taiwanese tourists in the hope of expanding its client pool.

The company is considering launch Hong Kong ecology tours to attract more Taiwanese tour groups, a spokesman for the tour agency said, explaining that most Taiwanese travelers are not keen on shopping but are more interested in gourmet food and cultural and natural attractions.

Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association Chairman Herman Lam said tourist attractions such as Disneyland and Ocean Park, as well as sightseeing tours to the outlying islands, are popular attractions for Taiwanese visitors.

(By Sherman Wu and Elizabeth Hsu)