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Bridge offers trial run of group tour next month

By Shadow Li in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-25 08:08
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This photo taken by a drone shows vehicles running on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on July 11, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tourists from the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions will be able to enjoy a front seat view of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge as the world's longest seacrossing will offer a trial run of tour groups in mid-December, the Zhuhai authority announced on Friday.

At a news conference, the authority said the tour provides routes between Zhuhai port and the western artificial island, also known as Blue Dolphin Island, one of the two artificial islands in the main bridge. Tourists need to join groups along the escorted trip, which takes about 140 minutes.

They are set to see up close the three channel bridges along the route, including the Chinese-knotlike cable-stayed Qingzhou Channel Bridge, dolphin-shaped Jianghai Channel Bridge and the sail-shaped Jiuzhou Channel Bridge. A rendezvous with the Chinese white dolphin, known as Giant Pandas of the sea, is also possible, said Duan Guoqin, deputy director of the managing department of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

The tour route covers the world's largest dolphin habitat.

Hong Kong and Macao residents holding valid home return permits are also eligible to sign up for the tour groups, which will commence at Zhuhai port.

Tourists are requested not to stray from their tour route and return to the Zhuhai port in groups.

Those who aspire to travel to Hong Kong and Macao need to return to the Zhuhai port and complete customs clearance there.

Prior booking is needed, and interpretive services will be provided.

Deputy Secretary General of Zhuhai Municipal Government Peng Su said more innovative tourism products will be offered to allow travelers to get a "safer, smoother and better" experience in touring the bridge.

Peng said offering designated tourism services is putting into action President Xi Jinping's important instruction that "the bridge should not only be structurally sound but also well managed, in a bid to contribute to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area".

Since the opening of the bridge in 2018, up to 36 million visitors — of which half are from Hong Kong and Macao — have traveled on the bridge, official data showed.

In an interview with China Daily, Timothy Chui Ting-pong, director of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong and executive director of Hong Kong Tourism Administration, said that these tours allow people to appreciate the scenic beauty and also suggested incorporating measures to help visitors gain insights into the construction process, thereby enhancing their understanding of the country's infrastructural capacity.

Chui expressed his hope that a similar tour could be developed to depart from Hong Kong.

Wu Kunling contributed to this story.

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