Hong Kong proposes Tax on Mainland China's visitors

February 12, 2014
Hong Kong proposes Tax on Mainland China's visitors
Leung Chun-Ying, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, has opposed the plan to impose an entry tax for the foreigners who are entering the territories by land.

Two democratic parties of Hong Kong had proposed US$ 13 tax to restrict the inflow of mainland tourists.

There is worry and concern in Hong Kong that it will not be further able to and shoulder the responsibility in managing the increase in the number of the mainland tourists, as it is predicted that 70 million visitors will visit the city every year by 2017, and the number will increase to 100 million by 2023.

The tax proposal was made by one of the legislators named Albert Chan who belongs to the  People Power Party. He suggested the including the proposed tax in the upcoming budget that would be announced later this month.

Albert Chan had said and asserted that Hong Kong will not be able to manage the increase in the number of mainland tourists in the coming years. The proposal was not meant just for the tourists of the Mainland Chinese only, though. Thus, for example, even if the tourists were to be Americans or Canadian passport holders entering Hong Kong through China, then even they would have to pay the tax.

Thus, it is said that the new proposition and proposal for the intended legislation is not to discriminate those from mainland China but to impose some reasonable restrictions on the tourists to reduce their inflow. As per Mr. Albert Chan’s assumption, about 10 million day-visitors of mainland will be reduced every year due to the proposed tax, if it is implemented.

Mr. Leung has condemned the proposed idea as one-sided and not practical. He has cautioned that the authorities of Shenzhen might similarly impose a similar tax on the visitors of Hong Kong. Even the Travel Industry Council and Tourism Board of Hong Kong were against the proposal as that might harm the reputation of the city.

The locals of the city have been complaining about crowding on trains, lengthy queues at shopping malls and the restaurants and similar such problems.

One of the Hong Kong’s residents has opined that “the tourists of the mainland spend a long time in the city and that this is encouraging the retail sector. The tourists’ visits are troubling the people of Hong Kong which cannot be avoided”. And the way he sees it is that, ‘there are both advantages and disadvantages and one cannot be compromised for the other’.
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