After the breakout of SARS, Hong Kong was blessed with a bumper harvest of positive economic news in the third quarter of 2003. Sentiment has received a marked boost, in particular due to the surge of Mainland tourists under the new 'individual visit scheme'. This brand-new scheme poured new animation in Hong Kong's economy, provided opportunities to Hong Kong's development, .
The definition of the individual visit scheme.
The Individual Visit Scheme (Hong Kong/Traditional Chinese:×ÉÃÃ, Mainland/Simplified Chinese: ¸ÖÈÎ) was started on July 28, 2003, to allow travelers from mainland China to visit Hong Kong on an individual basis.1 Prior to the Scheme, Mainland Chinese can only visit Hong Kong by joining organized tour groups, except for those travelling on business or who have family members living in Hong Kong.
Under the initial stage of the scheme, citizens of Beijing, Shanghai and 14 Guangdong province cities (Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Hongshan, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhuha, Shantou, Chaozhou, Meizhou, Zhaoqing, Yunfu, Huizhou, Qingyuan )2 could apply for visas to visit Hong Kong individually.
Residents with permanent household registration in these cities can apply for an individual visit endorsement from their local Public Security Bureau to visit Hong Kong. The endorsement is valid for three months and good for one or two visits to Hong Kong. The holder can stay in Hong Kong for seven days on each visit. Eligible applicants may apply for a new endorsement once the current one has expired or has been used up. There is no quota on the number of endorsements to be issued.
The effective Date (Cities) as followed:.
28 July 2003 - Dongguan ( ¶ «Ã" ¸), Zhongshan (ÖÃÉ ½), Jiangmen ( ½ aÅ), Foshan (É ½) of Guangdong Province (a ¶ «Êá).
1 September 2003 - Beijing ( ± ± ¾ ©), Shanghai (ÉÃ ∘ £)Guangzhou (aÖÃ"), Shenzhen (ÉÛÃš), Zhuhai (Öé ∘ £) ,Huizhou( »Ã"ÖÃ")of Guangdong Province.