Hong Kong to Add More E-Channels near Shenzhen Borders
According to the Hong Kong immigration department the city will be installing around 117 multi functional e-channels at control points on borders going to Shenzhen for Hong Kong residents and mainland travelers holding e-travel cards. The plan is based on a pilot scheme as Guangdong Province has started to issue e-permits for travels to Hong Kong and Macau. The control points also include the ones in Lo Wu, Shenzhen Bay Lok Ma Chau Spur line, Lok Ma Chau and Man Kam To.
The immigration department also said that an additional 179 e-channels will be opened between 2014 to 2016 to meet the steady increase of the amount of travelers visiting Hong Kong. Although e-travel card holders are required to undergo a face to face inspection during their first visit to Hong Kong. It will only take 20 seconds for a traveler to go through the e-channel while manual inspections take about 2 minutes or more.
The use of e-travel cards can help reduce wait time for mainland travelers and is said to help attract more travelers as an increase of travelers is predicted to happen by next year. Last year Hong Kong saw around 40 million visits by mainland travelers which is 16 percent more compared to 2012. Also a total of 3,036 Shenzhen residents have already applied for the e-permit to Hong Kong and Macau.