Travel resumption tonic for Greater Bay Area
A photo shows the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, a mega sea-crossing project, in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Aug 18, 2022. [Photo/IC]
According to the State Council, China's Cabinet, personal travel between the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions will fully resume from Monday.
An appointment for passage between the two special administrative regions and the mainland is no longer required, no ceiling will be set on the number of daily travelers, and group tours will resume. In other words, everything will be as it was in 2019.
Actually, even before this, Hong Kong had already allowed passage from the mainland without quarantine on Jan 8, after which as many as 400,000 Hong Kong residents traveled back from the mainland during the Chinese New Year holiday. For Shenzhen residents, the routine of shopping in Hong Kong and going home for dinner has resumed.
That will help bring the Greater Bay Area to a new high level of prosperity. For businesspersons, the smooth flow of goods and tourists means large numbers of orders for their enterprises to revive and fresh opportunities. For the local governments, the recovery of business operations means higher financial revenue with which they can provide better services to locals and migrant workers alike. For residents in the Greater Bay Area, that means more job opportunities and better support from the local government.
It also means Hong Kong and Macao will have greater access to the huge mainland market, while those on the mainland can enjoy the attractions of Hong Kong and Macao.
The resumption of free passage will also reconnect Hong Kong and Macao with the rest of the world. On Feb 2, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said at the "Hello, Hong Kong" ceremony that Hong Kong had already come back to the world stage. The Hong Kong government is offering 500,000 free air tickets in a phased release as sincere invitations from Hong Kong to visitors.
The Greater Bay Area is starting the Year of the Rabbit with a bound.