The Guangdong provincial government has signed a memorandum of understanding for closer partnership with the China National Tourism Administration.
Wang Yang, secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee, Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong province, and Shao Qiwei, director of CNTA, attended the signing ceremony.
According to the MOU, CNTA has formally announced that Guangdong has been selected as a pilot province to promote a national travel program.
With support from CNTA Guangdong will invest CNY9 billion in building Taizi Port in Shenzhen into an international cruise port combining cruise passenger transport, business, and seaside leisure tourism facilities; this is scheduled to be open by August 2011. By that time, Guangdong hopes to have attracted more foreign-owned travel agencies, including the Japanese JTB group and American Express.
The MOU also says that Guangdong is authorized to examine and approve Hong Kong and Macau service suppliers who wish to set up joint venture or wholly owned travel agencies in Guangdong. It is reported that unregistered Shenzhen citizens are to be allowed to travel to Hong Kong in groups from next month, by applying for a passport for Hong Kong and Macau in Shenzhen instead of in the city of their registered permanent residence.
In addition, Guangdong also plans to promote the "144-hour convenience visa" throughout the whole province — this is currently implemented in ten Guangdong cities — to attract more overseas tourists to visit Guangdong by transiting through Hong Kong or Macau.