With confirmation that the long-delayed Hong Kong section of the high-speed rail service will be operational on September 23, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is intensifying efforts to promote the city as part of multi-destination itineraries.
Along the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the line running between Guangzhou Nan and Shenzhen Bei opened in December 2011, and completion of the Hong Kong extension was originally scheduled for 2015.
According to a report by the South China Morning Post, recent agreements that transferred operating rights to MTR Corporation were accompanied by the announcement that travellers will get direct access from the West Kowloon station to 44 locations across the border, up from 20 announced earlier.
Peter Lam, chairman of the HKTB, said: “The commencement of the high-speed rail will reinforce Hong Kong’s position as China’s southernmost gateway by connecting Hong Kong to the mainland’s national high-speed rail network.”
The development is allowing HKTB to step up its ongoing efforts to promote multi-destination travel. Leveraging the tourism resources along the rail line, more business opportunities could emerge for the travel trade in Hong Kong and mainland, Lam remarked.
“Riding on the commencement of the high-speed rail, the HKTB is in discussion with the travel trade in Hong Kong and the mainland to launch tourism products featuring the high-speed rail, such as rail-cruise products jointly developed with cruise companies; as well as high-speed rail tours,” said Lam.