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Traffic between mainland, SARs surges

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-16 07:15

A panorama of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in December. QIAN WENPAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Passenger traffic between the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions reached a record high during the ongoing Spring Festival holiday, according to official statistics.

More than 144,000 passenger trips were made on the mainland section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on Tuesday, marking the busiest day for the section since the massive bridge opened in late 2018, said the border inspection station on the mainland side.

The travelers were carried by more than 18,000 buses and cars, which was a record for the most vehicles handled by any Chinese border port in one day, said the inspection station, which is located in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, in a news release on Wednesday.

On Monday, the station recorded more than 130,000 trips - higher than any single previous day.

The travel peaks represented ever-increasing enthusiasm about intercity travel in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area during the Chinese Lunar New Year period.

Most people in the Greater Bay Area speak Cantonese and share the same social customs, consumption preferences and culinary habits. In recent years, thanks to the rapid growth of the service sector on the mainland, many Hong Kong and Macao residents have become used to spending their holidays or shopping in mainland cities.

Moreover, all restrictions on cross-border travel have been gradually abolished since the beginning of 2023, leading to the resumption of large-scale commuting between the mainland and the two special administrative regions.

All of these factors have contributed to the record-high travel between the two sides during the holiday period.

From Saturday to Tuesday, nearly 60,000 buses and cars went through the Zhuhai inspection station, with most of them owned by Hong Kong or Macao residents, according to Zhou Wei, an officer at the station.

He told China Central Television that a lot of people from Hong Kong "are fond of driving to mainland cities" for the Spring Festival holiday.

For many mainland holiday travelers, crossing via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has also become an attraction.

Li Jianquan, a resident of Zhengzhou, Henan province, told CCTV that he drove his family from Zhengzhou to Zhuhai, and from there the family joined a local tour group and visited Hong Kong and Macao.

"The bridge makes it easier for traveling to Hong Kong and Macao. Besides, seeing the bridge itself from the tour bus is indeed a nice experience for us," he said.

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