TRAVEL Zhuhai crossings to SARs gain popularity


Zhuhai crossings to SARs gain popularity

China Daily

10:37, February 23, 2023

A Zhuhai resident surnamed Chen had to line up for some time at the border checkpoint in Hengqin in the Zhuhai economic zone of Guangdong province before he and his family left for the Macao Special Administrative Region on Sunday.

Passengers are seen at the Hengqin checkpoint. The checkpoint, as a major transit point of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, was put into operation on Aug 18, 2020. (Photo: China Daily)

The departure lounge was crowded, said Chen.

"The weather was fine and I wanted to take our children to Macao for sightseeing and shopping, as I have not toured Macao for some years due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

Chen is just one of the soaring number of people who are going across the border to visit Macao and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region after the downgraded management of COVID-19.

According to statistics revealed by the Zhuhai border inspection department, more than 1.58 million people and 230,000 vehicles had passed through Hengqin exit-entry port between Jan 8 and Sunday.

The figures were 27.4 percent and 109.1 percent higher than in the same period of 2019 before COVID-19 broke out.

Hengqin exit-entry port has registered more than 40,000 passenger visits and 6,000 vehicle visits a day for several consecutive days.

A Macao resident surnamed Li said she drove across the border to Zhuhai to attend a music festival and she would drive home after the music festival ended on Saturday.

The music festival, which was held in a Zhuhai park on Saturday, attracted more than 10,000 people from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, she said.

Other exit-entry ports in Zhuhai have also been busy dealing with the growing number of travelers.

Jiuzhou exit-entry port, which has a passenger ferry service to Hong Kong, has handled more than 20,000 passenger visits and 400 ferry visits since Jan 15. The number of passengers who leave and arrive in Zhuhai from Jiuzhou port has risen to more than 1,200 a day from 100 a day in early January.

The overall inbound and outbound passenger flow at the Jiuzhou exit-entry port is still rising steadily, local authorities said.

At Wanzai exit-entry port, more than 115,000 passenger visits had been recorded between Jan 7 and Feb 15, up 180 percent year-on-year.

More than 200,000 people and 60,000 vehicles had entered and left the mainland through the exit-entry port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge after the mainland resumed normal travel with Hong Kong and Macao. The bridge's checkpoint handled more than 31,000 passenger visits on Feb 12, the highest in three years.

Local authorities expect the number of passengers who leave and enter the mainland via Zhuhai to peak during the upcoming Tomb Sweeping Day holiday in April and the Labor Day holiday.

Border inspection and related departments have promoted data sharing and simplified cross-boundary procedures to facilitate the soaring number of passengers and vehicles, authorities said.

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