HK travel permit application surge crashes system

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-01-11

Due to a surge of applications for travel permits and endorsements for local residents to visit Hong Kong, Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau’s website crashed yesterday. The website is now under maintenance.

Applications for travel permits and endorsements for mainlanders to visit Hong Kong resumed Monday, following the reopening of borders Sunday after a three-year suspension of quarantine-free travel.

The booking system, which allows Shenzhen residents to make reservations eight days in advance, is now fully booked. The entry-exit department of Shenzhen police was forced to issue a notice Monday, suggesting that applicants suspend their applications or postpone nonessential travel plans to Hong Kong.

The administrative halls saw a surge of residents getting their Hong Kong travel permits processed after the services resumed. Many Shenzhen residents are planning to travel to Hong Kong to visit relatives and friends during the Spring Festival holiday.

According to the police, residents must make reservations for their Hong Kong travel permits before going to the entry-exit documentation halls to get their documents. The process generally takes five working days.

Following the reopening of the borders, the local tourism sector is anticipating a rebound in cross-border travel.

“We have restarted the operation of our tourism business with Hong Kong and Macao, and receiving tourists organized by our partners in Hong Kong,” said Han Chen, vice manger of CITS Shenzhen’s EachTravel.

As an influx of inbound and outbound travelers will cross the borders, Han suggested the governments of both cities give out digital or printed coupons to stimulate consumption during the Spring Festival holiday.

Data from showed that as of Thursday, reservations for overseas travel during the Spring Festival holiday had increased fivefold compared to the Spring Festival holiday period last year.

Popular outbound travel destinations for Chinese tourists include Australia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, according to the data.