HK sets up task force to study regulation of travel industry

21:52, July 22, 2010      

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Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Thursday said a special task force has been set up to look into problems deriving from "zero fee" tours after incidents regarding mainland tourists being forced to shop happened in Hong Kong.

Speaking after a meeting with board members of the Travel Industry Council (TIC) of Hong Kong on Thursday, Lau said incidents involving mainland tourists being forced to shop have seriously struck the reputation of Hong Kong's tourism industry and there is an urgent need to redeem mainland tourists' confidence.

The TIC will deliver messages about quality tours to mainland tourists at main tourism spots, shopping centers and arrival ports in the near future. The Hong Kong Tourism Board will map out a string of events in this regard, Lau said.

"This is a very important responsibility of the TIC to continue to enforce the regulatory provisions governing the conduct and the level of services provided by tour guides," said Lau, adding that the task force will look deeper into the whole system regarding the qualifications required of tour guides before they could be issued tour guide licences.

The task force, jointly established by the city's government and the TIC, will also examine the need to look at any enforcement aspects which will facilitate the compliance of any standards required of a tour guide.

A number of TV stations in the mainland recently broadcasted a clip showing a female tour guide scolded at a mainland tourist for refusing to shop; On May 22, a tourist from Hunan province was suspected to die of heart attack after having conflicts with a tour guide without licence.

Lau said that a report with recommendations towards the problems will be released by the task force in late September.

Source: Xinhua


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