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Bridge traffic up after it opens to tourists

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-22 09:26

Passengers arrive at Zhuhai Terminal of the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge via shuttle bus in January. [Photo by Qian Wenpan/For China Daily]

The flow of cars across the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge — a mega project in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area — has continued to increase since the resumption of exchanges between the mainland and the two special administrative regions, according to the Zhuhai highway port authorities of the bridge.

In the past weekend alone, the number of passengers entering and leaving Zhuhai port reached 100,000, the highest for a single day in the past three years, according to the port administration.

"At present, the cross-border travelers are mainly residents from the Greater Bay Area. With the growing need for travel from residents in other provinces and regions, the number of passengers will continue to rise," said Tan Chang, deputy duty head of the border checkpoint of the bridge.

Group tours have become the main factor behind the increase, according to the border checkpoint.

With the implementation of a policy encouraging cars from Macao to head into the mainland, the number of cars with Macao license plates has been particularly significant, it said.

On Sunday alone, the number of vehicles with Macao license plates exceeded 3,000 per day, the most since the implementation of the policy on Feb 6.

To help those traveling to Hong Kong and Macao for the first time, the port has established a customs clearance guide and a mechanism to facilitate exit endorsement applications, Tan said.

"In response to the peak inbound and outbound tourism, we have continuously strengthened information exchanges with relevant departments in Hong Kong and Macao, opening sufficient entry and exit lanes in advance for inspection in a timely manner," said Tan.

As of Sunday, 1.78 million passengers had passed through the station so far this year, more than three times the level last year.

The resumption of travel has helped agencies such as China Travel Service Hong Kong, which launched new products including Red tourism and study tours to attract more travelers to the SAR.

Benefiting from the increasingly convenient connection between Guangdong and the two SARs, the route from Zhuhai to Hong Kong via the bridge and then from Hong Kong to Macao via the bridge has become very popular, according to Macao Global Travel.

The agency receives an average of 2,000 to 3,000 tourists from the mainland, and more new tour products will be offered to allow more tourists to experience the unique cuisine of Hong Kong and Macao, it said.

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