Hong Kongers flock to Japan for 'revenge travel'

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Nikkei) - Japan has again become a popular travel destination among Hong Kongers after the government on Oct. 11 eased its COVID-related travel curbs and started accepting independent tourism, while Hong Kong also has scrapped its hotel quarantines for those arriving.

With many people unable to go out of the territory for nearly three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan could benefit from Hong Kongers' "revenge travel."

Only 5,900 Hong Kongers visited Japan in the first eight months of this year, down 99.6% from the same period in 2019, before the pandemic. But more than 10,000 Hong Kongers appear to have visited Japan in just one week starting from Oct. 11, according to industry estimates.

Trips to Japan, which at one point nearly disappeared, have recovered thanks to changes in policies by the governments of Japan and Hong Kong. The Japanese government abolished its daily arrival cap and started accepting individual travelers again, while the Hong Kong government also eased its entry restrictions.

Previously, Hong Kong required inbound travelers to quarantine at designated hotels for up to 21 days, but the measure was scrapped in late September. Now the government has introduced a measure called "0+3," which only requires international arrivals to undergo three days of medical surveillance at home or at a hotel of choice. ...continue reading