HK, Macao tour guides to work in Guangdong

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/19 18:53:40

Aerial photo shows the construction site of the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom on Hengqin International Recreation Island in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province. Photo: Xinhua

Amid the ongoing Hong Kong riots, the first batch of tour guides from Hong Kong is expected to begin work at the Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province for the upcoming National Day holidays. 

The Zhuhai Hengqin New Area Administrative Committee will conduct a three-day training for the first batch of 30 tour guides starting September 23, and they are expected to get their licenses as early as September 25, according to a press release the committee sent to the Global Times on Thursday.

Tour guides from Macao are also expected to work in Hengqin. 

The committee said Hengqin's recognition of tour guides from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Macao SAR would greatly improve the enthusiasm of tour guides from the two SARs to work in the Chinese mainland and boost cooperation and tourism interaction between the mainland and the two regions. 

Hengqin's move came after the committee issued a notice encouraging tour guides from Hong Kong and Macao to apply for work in the area. The committee would grant 3,000 yuan ($422.76) to those who get a license in Hengqin, and those who work for 45 days could get 30,000 yuan. 

After the notice was released on Monday, the committee had received 506 applications from Hong Kong and Macao as of Wednesday. 

More than 400 Hong Kong tour guides in the union have applied for work in the Hengqin New Area, Yip Chi Wai, chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Practitioners' Union, told the Global Times. 

Hong Kong tour guides are eager to work in the Chinese mainland, given the ongoing Hong Kong unrest that has greatly affected its tourism, Yip said.  

Hong Kong has more than 6,000 tour guides. 

The National Day holidays used to be a peak tourism period for Hong Kong, but now most visitors will not come to Hong Kong this year due to the continued social unrest, Yip said. 

A daily average of 13 tour groups from the Chinese mainland visited Hong Kong in the past week, down more than 90 percent compared with same period last year, the Sing Tao Daily reported on Wednesday.

A survey of more than 400 hotel employees found that 77 percent of them were on unpaid leave, according to the report.

"Hengqin's move provides Hong Kong tour guides an opportunity, but most importantly, it shows the country's care to Hong Kong tourism and its practitioners," Yip said. 

Yip expects more Hong Kong tour guides to work on other parts of the Chinese mainland, and training on history and geography-related knowledge for Hong Kong tour guides is needed, Yip said. 

Applicants must meet such conditions as being patriotic, loving Hong Kong and Macao, having valid resident identification cards and tour guide certificates of the two regions, and holding exit-entry permits that cover the areas, according to Guangdong's Human Resources and Social Security Department.


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