HONG KONG, Feb. 18 -- Hong Kong's Chief Executive C Y Leung on Tuesday said last Sunday's protest against mainland tourists by a group of people on Canton Road only represented a very small section of Hong Kong community.
Leung said all harassment or unlawful practices directed against mainland tourists or tourists from other countries will be condemned, adding that the city government will follow up the case if there are any illegal parts out of their actions.
About 100 Hong Kong citizens protested against mainland tourists coming into Hong Kong on last Sunday, yelling at some tourists and even shouting abuse at them. A jewelry store nearby was forced to close for 10 minutes by the protest.
Leung said the community at large realizes that tourism is a major sector of the economy and provides a large number of job opportunities, particularly for lower-skilled workers in Hong Kong.
"We fully appreciate the pressures that have been brought on certain districts in Hong Kong as a result of the large number of tourists coming to Hong Kong," said Leung. He also said the city government will increase the supply or the availability of tourist- related facilities in Hong Kong.
Four top government officials condemned protesters actions as " humiliating for mainlanders and a stain on Hong Kong's image" on Monday.
Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam said the bad behaviors "directly affecting the relationship with the mainland and harming Hong Kong's industry."
"We will absolutely not tolerate it if such events happen again, " said Lam.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said the harassment of the tourists was very regrettable.
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok also condemned the demonstration. Lai said the police would determine whether anyone should be prosecuted for disorderly behavior. "Suitable action will be taken if the police have sufficient evidence," he added.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam said the "barbaric and uncivilized activities" ran against Hong Kong's values.
Canton Road lies in Tsim Sha Tsui, a district which attracts lots of mainland tourists every year.