Immigration upgrades boost tourism

February 13, 2018

The self-service departure service for visitors at Hong Kong’s immigration checkpoints has boosted convenience for travellers.


Delivering the Immigration Department’s year-end review today, Director of Immigration Erick Tsang said the department used information technology and extended the e-Channel service to enhance passenger clearance capacity and efficiency during the year.


There are now 595 multipurpose e-Channels in service at all control points.


The Smart Departure service was launched at Hong Kong International Airport in October and extended to other control points in December.


It uses facial recognition technology for identity verification, allowing eligible visitors holding electronic travel documents to clear customs at Smart Departure e-Channels without prior enrolment.


At the end of 2017 more than 650,000 visitors had used the Smart Departure service.


Mr Tsang also told the media more than 299 million passengers passed through Hong Kong’s immigration control points last year, up 0.9% on 2016.


The total number of visitor arrivals exceeded 58 million, a 3.2% rise on 2016.


He added a citywide identity card replacement exercise will be launched by the end of this year.


The exercise is scheduled to last until 2022, and an estimated 8.8 million ID cards will be replaced.


Residents will be able to use self-service kiosks for registration and collection of new ID cards by filling in forms online or through a mobile app in advance.

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