Guangdong officials won’t let tourists use HKZM bridge for short trips

Guangdong officials won’t let tourists use the HKZM bridge for short trips

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau (HKZM) Bridge has only been operational for a little more than a month, but is already creating issues. Last month it was reported that there was a growing number of unlicensed tour operators taking advantage of the bridge, which already has some calling for a major crackdown. Now, it appears that authorities in the Guangdong province are Guangdong officials won’t let tourists use the HKZM bridge for short tripsshutting down certain trips across the bridge.

Travel agencies in the province have been reporting that they are being told to stop offering one-day trips to both Macau and Hong Kong that would make use of the bridge. The goal, according to officials, is to reduce traffic congestion on the ports and areas around the bridge.

The action was reported by the South China Morning Post late last week. The news outlet quoted the Guangdong Provincial Culture and Tourism Department as indicating that it is further trying to convince travel agencies to only arrange “quality trips” of two or more days if they are going to travel across the HKZM Bridge.

Some are in favor of the decision. The VP of the Macau Travel Industry Council, Wong Fai, spoke with GGRAsia last week, telling the news outlet, “I think the order [from the Guangdong tourism authority] is a good measure in diverting the [mainland visitors’] crowd, in order to ease the pressure on the ports and borders over the weekends or some certain time slots,” said Mr Wong. “The measure aims at providing a better travel experience to mainland Chinese visitors, as well as appease the sentiment of local people [in Hong Kong and Macau].”

About a week ago, tourism authorities in Guangzhou, a city that lies within the Guangdong province, informed travel agencies in mainland China to not send tour groups to Hong Kong on the weekends if the travels would make use of the bridge. That move was taken after locals in Tung Chung, a small town located to an entry and exit point for the bridge, began complaining of overcrowding.

The Macau government previously stated that it expects visitor numbers to increase by about 7% because of the bridge. However, it would appear that several issues need to be resolved if the $18-billion bridge is going to play a major role in local activity.