Hong Kong’s specific arrangements for inbound tour groups on dining
and Covid-19 nucleic acid tests comes at an opportune time for the city
as winter beckons.
According to an 18 November decision by the government, tour groups
would be able to dine in designated areas of restaurants, provided that
travel itineraries and catering facilities have been pre-registered with
the Travel Industry Council (TIC) of Hong Kong.
In late September, Hong Kong implemented a “0+3” measure in a bid to
ease some of its stringent Covid-19 rules on individual arrivals, where
visitors are required to keep track of their health status for three
days without having to quarantine.
The tour group ruling, which is its latest revision on inbound
travel, came into effect on 19 November, catching a Thai tour group off
guard, as their tour agent did not have adequate time to make the
arrangements with the TIC.
The 50-member group, which arrived on 19 November, had to dine on
meal boxes in their hotel rooms for three days, only to enjoy a proper
restaurant trip on the final day of their tour in Hong Kong.
Welcoming the government's announcement, Hong Kong Tourism Board
(HKTB) chairman Pang Yiu-kai said: “Becoming effective before the travel
peak season of Christmas and Chinese New Year, the new arrangements
will help bring back short-haul visitors to experience Hong Kong’s
seasonal festivity, especially those from Southeast Asia.
“The HKTB will continue to work closely with trade partners in
promoting the diverse and exciting activities and experiences in town to
attract inbound visitors to the city,” said Pang.
In line with that, HKTB Southeast Asia regional director Raymond Chan
said more trade and marketing activities for Southeast Asian groups
would be rolled out in the coming months.
“We are glad that the announcement of the new travel guidelines has
been well received by our Southeast Asian partners and consumers,” Chan