Tourism Spending in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is Increasing

A report released earlier this week by the World Travel & Tourism Council reveals positive signs of recovery for the Travel & Tourism sector in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as overseas visitors return, providing a much-needed boost to economies across the country.

The report, produced in collaboration with Oxford Economics, examined key indicators such as travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP, employment, and traveller spending.

The analysis of the impact of the travel and tourism sector in both cities reveals that direct GDP contribution, jobs, and visitor spending are all rebounding.

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According to the WTTC Cities Economic Impact Report, the travel and tourism sector contributed nearly AED 51BN to Dubai’s economy and AED 12.5BN to Abu Dhabi’s economy in 2019.

Despite the fact that the pandemic had a negative impact on many countries around the world, the UAE demonstrated remarkable resilience.

Travel and tourism’s GDP contribution in both cities fell by more than half by 2020. It fell to AED 19.5 billion in Dubai and AED 6 billion in Abu Dhabi.

However, according to the global tourism organization’s research, both cities are on the mend.

Dubai’s travel and tourism sector is expected to have reached AED 46BN last year, only 10% lower than in 2019, and Abu Dhabi’s travel and tourism sector is expected to have grown to AED 11BN last year, only 12% lower than in 2019.

WTTC president & CEO Julia Simpson said: “City destinations in the UAE continue to grow in popularity for travellers from around the world.

“Although these key cities were heavily affected by the pandemic, they have shown incredible resilience and signs of growth. The UAE’s Travel & Tourism sector is on the road to recovery, demonstrating the wide appeal tourist destinations across the region continue to hold for international travellers.

“But it’s crucial that the national and local governments continue to recognise the economic importance of Travel & Tourism for the local and national economies, jobs and businesses.”

Jobs are becoming more plentiful.

The report also shows that, in the key cities studied, employment in the Travel & Tourism sector is on track to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

According to the report, there were just under 262,000 Travel & Tourism jobs in Dubai in 2019 and nearly 43,000 in Abu Dhabi.

The following year, job numbers in Dubai fell to just under 211,000 (-19%) but increased slightly to just under 44,000 (+2%) in Abu Dhabi.

In 2021, employment in Dubai increased by 10% to more than 231,000, but fell by 4% to slightly less than 42,000 in Abu Dhabi.

WTTC predicts more job opportunities.

Dubai employment is expected to increase by 13% to nearly 262,000 jobs in 2022, while Abu Dhabi employment is expected to increase by 0.4% to just over 43,000 in 2022, representing a 0.4% increase in job numbers since the pandemic began. WTTC forecasts an AED1.5 billion increase in international visitor spending in Dubai in 2022, to AED108 billion (+1.4%), compared to 2019.






Source : ttrweekly

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Europe’s Tourism Recovery is Accelerating

A new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows strong signs of economic recovery from travel and tourism in the five-city ‘powerhouses’ of Western Europe.

The Cities Economic Impact Report, sponsored by Visa and conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics, examined key indicators such as the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP, employment, and traveller spending. The research looked at the industry’s impact in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Madrid.

According to the report from the global tourism body, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed over USD83.5 billion to the economies of the five European capitals in 2019, and last year was only 15% lower at nearly USD71 billion.

Paris has recovered the fastest of the five capital cities, with the other four remaining 18% to 30% below 2019 levels, indicating slightly slower recoveries than the French capital. In Paris, the GDP contribution of the sector was USD38 billion in 2019, but by 2022, it had recovered to just 6% of pre-pandemic levels, at USD35.7 billion.

Although the sector’s GDP contribution to London is expected to be nearly USD15 billion in 2022, it is trailing Berlin in terms of recovery to 2019 levels. In 2022, the German capital’s contribution to the city’s economy was worth more than USD7.7 billion, an 18% decrease from 2019.

In 2022, Madrid’s GDP contribution was more than USD5.5 billion, a 24% decrease from 2019. However, Rome is experiencing the slowest recovery – 30% slower than in 2019 – with a sector contribution of nearly USD7 billion.

“Travelers are flocking back to Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, and Rome,” said WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson. Business travel is steadily increasing. And the reopening of China is bringing new visitors to cities across Europe. Tourists contribute significantly to the economy and job creation.

“It is crucial that the national and local governments continue to recognise the importance of Travel & Tourism for the local and national economies, jobs, and businesses.”

Jobs are becoming more plentiful

There were over 976,000 jobs in Travel & Tourism across the five cities prior to the pandemic.

In 2020, the five capitals’ job numbers fell by 41% to just over 580,000. The following year, job numbers increased by 13% to 654,000, and last year, job numbers increased by 23% to 807,000, just 17% less than the combined total in 2019.

With nearly 322,000 jobs in Travel & Tourism, Paris currently has the largest job market of the five capitals.






Source : ttrweekly


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Nassau Paradise Island Welcomes Record-Breaking Tourism

The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB) announced today that it has recovered completely from the effects of the pandemic.

Year-end reporting revealed that the tourism sector in the perennially popular Bahamian destination finished 2022 even better than in 2019, its best performance year on record. The NPIPB also expressed confidence that 2023 will be a banner year.

The following are some key takeaways:

  • In 2022, average occupancy increased by 23.2 percentage points to 65.2 percent, up from 42 percent in 2021.
  • Room revenue in 2022 will be 112 percent higher than in 2021.
  • The average length of stay is now approaching six nights, representing a half-day to a full-day increase.
  • Traveler visitation in 2022 increased by 69 percent over 2021.
  • Air arrivals through December 2022 were 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and air seats are already increasing in 2023, with February’s seat count up 15 percent over 2022 at an average of 5,358 seats per day.
  • In comparison to the previous year, total website referrals to NPIPB partner resorts increased by 47 percent.
  • From the end of 2021 to the end of 2022, web searches for “The Bahamas” increased by 20%, while searches for “Nassau” increased by 41%.

The increased traffic to its website has prompted more tourists to book trips to Nassau Paradise Island and stay at the NPIPB’s partner resorts, and it is expected to continue to drive visitation rates and overall occupancy well into 2023. The promotion board is investing in a new website, which is expected to be completed early this year, to capitalize on the momentum of current internet search demand and continue driving conversions.

Nonstop air service to Lynden Pindling International Airport from 38 source markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America remains one of Nassau Paradise Island’s most valuable assets. In fact, the destination maintained air service from all of those markets during and after the pandemic, demonstrating the strength of demand for travel to the premier resort island. Nassau Paradise Island will add even more nonstop commercial air service from major markets such as New York City this year.

“It has been wonderful to see tourism to Nassau Paradise Island surpass pre-pandemic levels, and we are continuing to build on the momentum from last year to drive demand and make 2023 a banner year,” said Joy Jibrilu, CEO of NPIPB. “Our island destination has so much to offer all types of visitors and, as I reflect on 2022, I am so thankful for our partners and am extremely optimistic for the new year full of new resorts, more nonstop air service, new and returning special events, and more!”





Source : travelpulse

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Tourism in Tehran Projects are Getting Underway

Some 92 tourism-related projects have recently been inaugurated across Tehran province, the provincial tourism chief has said. The projects have been allocated a budget of 12 trillion rials ($31.8 million), according to Parham Janfeshan on Tuesday.

The projects include hotels, guest houses, eco-lodge units, tourist complexes, and travel agencies, according to the official. He stated that since the projects’ inception, over 1,000 new job opportunities have been created. In addition, 58 handicraft workshops have opened in the province, he said.

According to the official, the workshops received an investment budget of 340 billion rials ($850,000). According to him, the workshops have created over 670 job opportunities for locals.

Tehran appears in historical accounts for the first time in an 11th-century chronicle as a small village north of Ray.

To name a few, Golestan Palace, Grand Bazaar, Treasury of National Jewels, National Museum of Iran, Glass & Ceramic Museum, Masoudieh Palace, Sarkis Cathedral, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, and Carpet Museum of Iran are all popular tourist attractions in Tehran.





Source : tehrantimes

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Hong Kong Gives Away 500,000 Free Flight Tickets

Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 airline tickets in an effort to entice tourists to return to the region. In recent months, the city has eased COVID travel restrictions, including mandatory isolation upon arrival.

It is now hoping to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic on its tourism industry. Hong Kong’s plan also includes giving away 500,000 airline tickets worth more than €250 million.

Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, told the BBC in October that the free tickets were initially purchased to assist airlines during the pandemic.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee launched the $2 billion (€1.8 billion) ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign on Wednesday (1 February), with the flight ticket giveaway beginning on March 1.

Before the pandemic, Hong Kong received 56 million visitors in 2019 – more than seven times its population. However, its strict COVID restrictions have kept visitors away for the past three years, wreaking havoc on the tourism sector and the economy. According to preliminary government data, the city’s GDP fell 3.5% last year compared to 2021.

How will the free ticket scheme in Hong Kong work?

The giveaway will begin on March 1 and will last about six months, with tickets distributed in stages.

According to Fred Lam Tin-fuk, CEO of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, the free tickets will be distributed by Hong Kong-based airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines.

According to Time Out Hong Kong, tickets will be distributed gradually on the airlines’ overseas platforms, beginning with Southeast Asian countries and progressing to mainland China and Northeastern Asia.

In the summer, another 80,000 free air tickets will be distributed to Hong Kong residents, with another 80,000 distributed to those living in the Greater Bay Area.

Visitors can also take advantage of special offers, vouchers, and other incentives in the city.

One million vouchers worth more than HKD100 (€11.60) each will provide discounts on food, drinks, transportation, hotels, retail, and attractions. According to Time Out Hong Kong, they will be distributed at tourist inquiry counters located at four border checkpoints beginning at 5 p.m. on February 2.

Throughout 2023, the city will also host over 250 events and festivals, including the Hong Kong Marathon, Clockenflap music festival, Art Basel, and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.

What are the Hong Kong entry requirements?

Throughout the pandemic, Hong Kong had some of the strictest travel regulations.

The city has largely aligned itself with mainland China’s ‘zero-COVID’ strategy and has relaxed entry rules months later than competitors such as Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan.

The mandatory quarantine upon arrival was abolished in September. Even after Hong Kong reopened its border with mainland China in January, tourism recovery was slow.

The rules have now been relaxed even further. Visitors who test negative for COVID no longer need to self-isolate upon arrival.

Inbound tourists are subjected to rapid antigen testing upon arrival and again on day five of their visit. If you test positive, you must self-isolate in your hotel or lodging for five days.

Proof of vaccination is also required for those over the age of 12, unless there are medical reasons why you cannot be vaccinated.

Hong Kong residents who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter the city. Non-residents who are not fully vaccinated and have visited places other than mainland China, Macao, or Taiwan within the last seven days will be denied entry into Hong Kong.

A negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure is required for travel between Hong Kong and mainland China. You must make a quota booking on the HKSARG’s online booking system if you are traveling through land border control points. Air travel does not necessitate this.

Virgin Atlantic stops flights to Hong Kong after 30 years

Due to the closure of Russian airspace following Ukraine’s invasion, some airlines will not resume service to the city.

Virgin Atlantic announced in the fall that it would close its Hong Kong office after 30 years. Flights to the city were halted when the pandemic struck, but were scheduled to resume in the summer of 2023.

The airline decided to withdraw from the Asian travel hub entirely. Several factors influenced the decision, including the closure of Russian airspace, which added at least an hour to travel times.

Customers who booked flights to Hong Kong with Virgin Atlantic beginning in March 2023 have been offered a refund, a voucher, or the option to rebook on another route with the airline.







Source : euronews

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Thailand Tourism is Reviving as International Arrivals Increase

Thailand welcomed 11.15 million foreign visitors in 2022, exceeding the government’s target for the year and implying that the country’s tourism sector will continue to recover this year, according to the country’s tourism ministry.

This was still far short of the 40 million or so international arrivals that the country had prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. However, this is a significant increase from the 428,000 visitors the country received in 2021, when access was complicated by a slew of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

According to ministry data, the top three source markets for the country in 2022 will be Malaysia, India, and Singapore.

This is obviously good news for Thailand, whose economy is the second largest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but which is also unusually reliant on tourism. While the country managed to contain COVID-19 with relative success in 2020, the shutdowns and collapse in international travel brought international tourism to a halt. This contributed to the country experiencing the second-worst recession of the ten ASEAN nations that year, with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reporting that its economy contracted by 6.1 percent.

Thai tourism officials are now aiming for 25 million international visitors by 2023, a target that will be greatly aided by the resumption of outbound tourism from China following Beijing’s earlier this month decision to abandon “zero COVID” and its associated travel restrictions. Thailand received a record 11.5 million visitors in 2019, but China’s protracted flirtation with its wacky “zero COVID” policy has slowed Thailand’s expected recovery.

Indeed, the return of Chinese outbound tourism has been warmly received throughout the region. Reuters reported this week that Filipinos dressed in traditional attire “played bamboo marimbas and handed out necklaces and gifts” to the first Chinese visitors to return to the country since the pandemic. Indonesian authorities put on a similar show in Denpasar, Bali, where the first direct flight from China in three years landed to an honor guard of traditionally dressed Balinese hostesses and lion dances to commemorate the Lunar New Year.

Meanwhile, at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing personally greeted Chinese visitors arriving from Fuzhou with Lunar New Year souvenirs this weekend.

In 2019, the Philippines and Indonesia welcomed 1.7 million and 2 million Chinese visitors, respectively. However, as in Thailand, this fell dramatically last year, with only 39,627 visitors in the Philippines and around 100,000 in Indonesia. Malaysia experienced a similar decline, but has set an ambitious goal of attracting 5 million Chinese tourists this year, a 60% increase over the 3.1 million who visited in 2019.

In a related development, Singapore’s government announced this week that it is on track to fully recover its tourism sector by 2024. According to tourism officials, the city-state received 6.3 million visitors last year, down from 19.1 million in 2019, but slightly more than the government’s forecast of 4-6 million.

Singapore, like its neighbors, will benefit from the return of Chinese outbound travel. In 2019, the country welcomed 3.6 million visitors from China, the country’s single largest source of foreign arrivals.





Source : thediplomat

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50,000 Tourists Arrive on The First Day of Chinese New Year

On the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday period, January 22, the Macau SAR received a total of 50,090 tourist arrivals.

The 2023 Spring Festival Golden Week will be held from January 21 to 27, making it the first time in three years that there will be no movement restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the removal of pandemic control measures earlier this month, daily visitor arrivals in the city have gradually increased, reaching as high as 55,000, the highest single-day record since the pandemic.

Arrivals from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are no longer required to show proof of negative nucleic acid tests as of January 8, allowing free passage between the regions.

On January 22, a total of 239,454 entries and exits were reported at all of the city’s border checkpoints, with nearly 20,000 movements involving Hong Kong residents and 52,663 movements involving mainland residents.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), stated last week that the tourism authorities planned to implement measures to attract visitors to Macau, focusing on Hong Kong, mainland China, and foreign countries, as well as hold more promotional activities for overseas markets.

In addition, the MGTO intends to spend MOP30 million over three months on a campaign to increase visitation from the neighboring SAR to 60 to 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The tourism bureau estimates that during the Chinese New Year period, Macau will receive 47,000 visitors per day on average, with the majority of the city’s 142 hotels and inns fully booked.

On Saturday, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng stated that he expects the number of tourists to gradually increase beginning with the third day of the Chinese New Year.

Macau reported around 62,000 visitor arrivals during the three-day New Year’s holiday from December 31 to January 2, with an average of more than 20,000 visitors per day during last year’s Spring Festival period.

On the first day of the Year of the Rabbit, a massive golden dragon parade was held on the city’s streets on Sunday, with tourism officials organizing various festivities and events throughout the week.






Source : macaubusiness

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Spain Expects Tourism Revenue to Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels by 2023

According to a new industry study, revenue from tourism companies in Spain is expected to increase by 4.7 percent over totals recorded in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down international travel.

According to, industry group Exceltur discovered that Spain’s hotels, resorts, transportation companies, car rentals, and entertainment businesses are experiencing a surge in 2023 bookings, which would help the country outpace its tourism numbers for 2019.

“The picture is hopeful,” Exceltur Vice President Jose Luis Zoreda said. “It seems that the desire to travel has prevailed and some firms are telling us that consumers would rather stop buying a shirt or an appliance than stop traveling.”

Despite the travel industry’s rebound, tourism numbers in 2022 remained 2.1 percent lower than in 2019. While hotel revenue was up 7% from pre-pandemic levels, transportation revenue was down 5% from the previous year.

Inflation, higher fuel costs, and wage increases all had an impact on the bottom line of tourism companies in Spain, but the average price increased by 6.6 percent in 2022. If projected growth rates are met, tourism will account for approximately 12.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Furthermore, Exceltur discovered that Central European and Mexican visitors boosted the Spanish economy last year, and tourism officials anticipate a surge in visitors from the United States and the United Kingdom in 2023.

Spain announced a new visa scheme that will allow non-nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who work for foreign employers to live in the country without the need for a full work visa, which is expected to go into effect in January.





Source : travelpulse

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Muscat Nights will Help Local Businesses & Revitalize Domestic Tourism

Muscat: A kaleidoscope of activities will take place during the inaugural edition of the Muscat Nights, which will take place from January 19 to February 4.

Muscat Nights, organized by Muscat Municipality, aims to be the largest entertainment, cultural, and community event in the capital city.

Ahmed Mohammed Al Hamidi, Chairman of Muscat Municipality, announced on Sunday at a press conference at Qantab Hall, Al Bustan Palace, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the presence of representatives from ministries and government that Muscat Nights 2023 will be held at four locations: Al Qurum Natural Park, Al Naseem Public Park, the Oman Automobile Association (OAA), and the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC).

Al Hamidi said, “Muscat Nights aims to develop events that go down well with the community, traditions and customs, and promote healthy practices.

“For the youth, we have included activities and sports at the Oman Automobile Association, given that the majority of Omani society is under the age of 16.”

Al Hamidi hoped that Muscat Nights would contribute to the revitalization of domestic tourism by providing a venue for entertainment and cultural events. He stated that 90 percent of the contracts for venue preparation have been awarded to local companies.

“This year, every segment of society will be served and we have been keen to develop events that take care of all with safety and security standards at the top of our priority,” said Al Hamidi.

Brigadier General Mohammed bin Nasser Al Kindi, Director General of Operations at the Royal Oman Police (ROP), said: “Extra policemen will be on duty to ease traffic congestion due to the Muscat Nights activities. This will be done through a plan to open other lanes to reduce congestion.”

The top ROP official said: “The police will provide advice and guidance, and will deploy members of civil defence to help if necessary. The police will also participate in a number of educational shows and exhibitions during the activities from January 19-February 4.”

Al Hamidi also talked about the concerns of people regarding traffic congestion in Al Qurum. He said: “To prevent traffic congestion in the Al Qurum region, the Muscat Nights event will be held only in a section of the park, which includes the lake and its nearby areas.”

Muscat Nights, according to Al Hamidi, is a new concept unrelated to the Muscat Festival, which was last held in 2019 after having been held annually since 1998.

“Most of Muscat Nights activities will be held in the evening and added that Muscat Municipality took into account many suggestions to organise the inaugural edition of Muscat Nights,” he said.

Special schedule

Each venue is expected to have its own distinct personality and a unique schedule with a variety of activities tailored to the venue.

According to officials, the activities will not be limited to entertainment but will also promote domestic tourism and support local industries by providing a platform for them.

With the release of an app for ticket purchases, technology will be used to book tickets and view the event schedule.

This time, a heritage village will be established in Al Naseem Park, with a greater representation of the governorates.

The Sultanate of Oman’s talented artists will organize the concerts.

Children under the age of 12 and people with disabilities are exempt from paying entry fees, according to the organizers.





Source : zawya

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Macau Expects up to 60,000 tourists per day during the CNY Season

The figure represents a significant improvement over the previous three years, when COVID-related entry measures, strict testing, and lockdowns have significantly reduced tourism numbers.

The SAR’s tourism authority already reported that 55,000 tourists had entered the city on Saturday, smashing previous visitation records during the pandemic period.

The head of the tourism bureau told TDM Canal Macau that “we won’t have 55,000 visitors every day, but we are still expecting an average of 47,000 visitors”.

Macau recently lifted entry restrictions for mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong visitors and eliminated all quarantine requirements for non-Chinese visitors, signaling the end of a difficult period for Macau’s gaming operators and the economy as a whole.

Despite the relaxation of measures on January 8th and the previous implementation of eVisas for China last year, group tours have yet to be authorized by mainland authorities, despite visitors entering on individual visas and joining local tours upon arrival in the SAR.

Speaking of the group tours, the head of the tourism bureau lamented the lack of organized visitation, noting that “we still don’t have tour groups, we still haven’t received any updates (from mainland Chinese authorities) regarding that, and until we can resumre that form of travel than we might not be able to return to the levels we were seeing in 2019”.

The tourism chief revealed the expectations to local broadcaster TDM Canal Macau, slightly dampening expectations for a stronger increase after the SAR saw 46,000 visitors on Friday (the 13th), much higher than the total average recorded during the entire year of 2022.

Nearly 1 million mainland Chinese residents have reportedly applied for entry permits to Macau and Hong Kong since authorities eased restrictions, and improved transit between the two specially administered regions and mainland China is expected to boost tourism even further.

The mainland authorities have set the CNY holiday period for January 21st to 27th, with up to 70% of the city’s 44,000 hotel rooms already reserved.

According to Macau tourism office data, the figure is a significant increase from the 42.2 percent occupancy rate seen in December, which was a 9.4 percent drop year on year.

Among the December figures, Macau’s five-star operators were the hardest hit, with a 10.2 percent drop in occupancy to 39.9 percent.

During the first 11 months of the year, hotel occupancy fell 14.5 percent year on year to 39 percent, with five-star hotels registering only 35.8 percent occupancy, down 13.1 percent year on year.

Aside from its primary source market, mainland China, Hong Kong is aiming for an influx of visitors, with up to 10,000 visitors from the neighboring Special Administrative Region expected if transportation improves.

The tourism office currently estimates that around 6,000 visitors arrive daily from Hong Kong, a significant increase from the 1,000 registered prior to the opening.

“Currently we still have some constraints regarding the number of ferries and buses (running between the SARs),” the tourism head told the broadcaster.

“Gradually, as the supply of routes increases, the number of tourists from Hong Kong will increase. I hope that we can reach 10,000 daily visitors from Hong Kong,” noted the tourism bureau head.

Links between mainland China and Hong Kong are also improving, with the two territories resuming the high-speed rail link after nearly three years of inactivity, with the first arrival of mainland passengers to the city on Sunday.

Despite the improvements in travel, a wave of infections sweeping mainland China and the two SARs has some concerned, with Beijing authorities noting that 60,000 deaths were recorded in just one day, and estimates that up to 1 million COVID deaths have been recorded in mainland China this year.




Source : agbrief

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