Published: 18:25, May 15, 2024 | Updated: 18:37, May 15, 2024
HKSAR govt welcomes new visa-free policy for cruise ship tour groups
By Wang Zhan

A staff member holds a sign for a bus service for passengers at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal going to the Kai Tak MTR Station on Aug 9, 2023. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Wednesday welcomed the National Immigration Administration’s implementation of a new policy allowing visa-free entry for foreign tourist groups aboard cruise ships at provinces along the country's coast.

A spokesman for the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau said in a statement that the policy will help promote tourism and the development of Hong Kong’s cruise industry.  

Tourist groups each consisting of two foreigners or more, and organized or received by Chinese travel agencies, can enter China visa free on board cruise ships via the cruise ports in 13 Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Sanya, and others, according to the NIA

Tourist groups each consisting of two foreigners or more, and organized or received by Chinese travel agencies, can enter China visa free on board cruise ships via the cruise ports in 13 Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Sanya, and others, according to the NIA.

"As Asia's cruise hub, Hong Kong attracts visitors from around the world to come for cruise travel. They would stay in Hong Kong before or after their voyages to experience our tourism offerings and bring economic benefits to the city,” the spokesman said.

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“The new policy measures announced by the NIA today will attract international cruise lines to develop more cruise itineraries involving mainland ports and Hong Kong, leveraging our role as a core demonstration zone for multi-destination tourism and promoting the development of Hong Kong's cruise industry."

The CSTB said will continue to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness as Asia's cruise hub through various measures, and seize the opportunities brought about by the development of the country's cruise industry.

READ MORE: China allows visa-free entry of foreign tourist groups via cruise ships

The Hong Kong Tourism Board said on Tuesday that the territory registered about 14.62 million tourist arrivals in the first four months of the year, or double the number during the same period in 2023.