HONG KONG, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Head of the China National Tourism Administration Shao Qiwei and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong city government Gregory So co- chaired the 2012 Hong Kong and Mainland Tourism Working Meeting in Beijing on Friday, with both sides discussing the direction of future tourism cooperation, the Hong Kong government said in a statement.
Both sides reviewed recent tourism performance as well as mutual exchange and cooperation between the two places. They also decided on the detailed arrangements for implementation of tourism liberalization measures under Supplement IX to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).
Regarding the central government's announcement in late June that Mainland tour groups taking cruises from Hong Kong to Taiwan could visit Japan or South Korea on the same cruise journey before returning to the Mainland, active and constructive discussion was held on implementation details, including the development of cruise itineraries and the arrangements for travel documents and tour groups.
The Hong Kong government will make announcements on the related arrangements to the local tourism industry once all the details have been finalized.
Regarding joint manpower training between the Mainland and Hong Kong, both sides reached consensus on the launch of a work exchange program between tourism organizations of the two places, with the first training course for Mainland tourism practitioners to be held in Hong Kong in late 2012.
Two officials of the China National Tourism Administration will be placed with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong respectively for a six-week work exchange program.
The first training course jointly organized by the Mainland and Hong Kong for Mainland tourism practitioners will be held in November this year. To tie in with the future tourism development of the two places, the course will cover basic knowledge of the cruise business and skills in cruise selling.
In addition, both sides discussed joint overseas promotion of multi-destination itineraries comprising the Mainland and Hong Kong, and promotion of honest and quality tourism. They also exchanged views on enhancing the quality of tourism services.
Shao expressed his support for tourism cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong, Hong Kong enterprises operating travel agencies in the Mainland, the development of Hong Kong-based cruise tourism, and joint efforts in improving the quality of tourism services. He also agreed that the two places would continue to maintain close cooperation and communication.