Since its launch in April, the passenger ferry service connecting Guangzhou and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has grown in use, with departures and arrivals rising to five both ways this week.
The service shuttles passengers from the Pazhou Ferry Terminal on the south bank of the Pearl River in Guangzhou to the Hong Kong International Airport and Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong.
According to a statement released by Guangzhou Customs, more than 20,000 inbound and outbound passengers passed through Pazhou Ferry Terminal from July 1 to Aug 31. The month-on-month increase for that time was 51 percent for inbound passengers and 54.5 percent for outbound.
The ferry service is one of many measures aimed at accelerating connectivity among major cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, making it easier and more convenient for people to travel.
Zeng Xiang, a customs official with Guangzhou Convention and Exhibition Center Customs, said the number of inbound and outbound passengers through Pazhou Ferry Terminal hit a daily peak at 525 people this summer, and he expects to see passenger numbers grow in the future.
The next passenger peak will probably be during the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays beginning Sept 29, as well as the upcoming China Import and Export Fair, which will open in Guangzhou on Oct 15, Zeng said.
The two-hour journey between Guangzhou and Hong Kong has proved particularly popular among passengers wanting to travel from Hong Kong's international airport.
A Guangzhou businessman surnamed Zhang said he could save more than two hours in travel time from downtown Guangzhou to Hong Kong International Airport by taking the ferry.
"I can directly check-in and drop off my luggage at Pazhou Ferry Terminal. It is a great ferry journey from Guangzhou to Hong Kong International Airport with a great customs clearance experience," Zhang said.
"The increase of ferry services to Hong Kong International Airport provides more convenience for passengers in the GBA to travel to Southeast Asia, Europe and other countries and regions around the world, making overseas travel more convenient," he added.
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