TD Guest Writer
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Experts claim that Hong Kong’s ongoing pandemic restrictions have not effectively stopped the spread of COVID-19, and the city is now fighting to restore its tourism industry.
Despite the city’s reputation as a welcoming site for international visitors, Hong Kong has remained mainly off-limits to tourists from outside the country for the better part of three years.
While the city of Hong Kong has managed to stay alive, it has yet to flourish exactly. As the COVID pandemic restrictions persisted year after year, they were forced to be flexible and constantly adjust their focus.
While Hong Kong has managed to stay alive, it has not flourished. As the COVID pandemic restrictions continued year after year, they were forced to be flexible and to adjust their focus constantly.
As a result, even though the hotel quarantine has been lifted, international visitors are still staying away. As a result, reviving the tourism industry would be fantastic.
By early 2020, Hong Kong has already advocated for curfews, vaccination permits, and bans on group meetings.
The city adopted Beijing’s “zero-COVID” strategy for the disease but has since abandoned it for its seven million residents.
The mandatory three-day quarantine requirement for all international arrivals in Hong Kong was removed in September and replaced with the current “0+3” programme.
Tourists are not allowed in any public places during this period. After this, visitors to Hong Kong are allowed to roam the city; however, they are required to wear protective masks at all times.
The number of COVID cases in Hong Kong recently reached 9,218, the highest daily total over two months.
The highly contagious omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have been held accountable for the rise of COVID-19-causing coronavirus infections, but specialists claim the trend is already reversing.
In an announcement made earlier this month, the Hong Kong government stated that tour groups would be allowed to visit important attractions over the three days of self-health monitoring.
However, a news source claims that travel agencies in Hong Kong are saying that the city’s ongoing pandemic restrictions are still putting off overseas tourists.
In the cases of Thailand and Japan, for instance, tourism returns only when the countries themselves show signs of confidence in reopening.
There were just 249,699 tourists to Hong Kong in September, which is down significantly from the 1.1 million who arrived in January, before the pandemic.
More than 65 million visitors flocked to the city in 2018.
Ten million fewer tourists arrived in the country in 2019 due to massive protests against the administration and subsequent clashes with police.
78% of Hong Kong’s visitors came from mainland China in 2018, reopening the border with China is essential for the city’s economy.
The [Hong Kong Tourism Board] will focus on South Korea and Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, in 2023, as well as Japan and Taiwan, two of its top 10 tourist markets that only recently reopened.
At the same time, in October, the Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that, once the ban was removed, it would give away half a million complimentary airline tickets.
The tourism industry in Hong Kong has been struggling, and several experts have questioned if this is the answer.