Hong Kong's Commissioner for Tourism, Philip Yung, said Friday he was seriously concerned over the incident in which a tour guide employed by a HK-based agency allegedly reviled mainland tourists for their failing to spend enough money on buying and he had asked the Travel Industry Council to thoroughly investigate the incident.
In a press conference, Yung also urged the Travel Industry Council (TIC) to consider revoking license of the travel agency if it was found to have breached regulations.
Yung said he was informed by the TIC about the incident, which has been under media focus in Hong Kong in the last few days.
"There have been a series of quite serious incidents which may affect the reputation of Hong Kong as a tourist destination. The TIC has set up a task force to look at the longer term improvement measures," he said.
In one of the most high-profile incidents, a 65-year old mainland visitor, from central Chinese Hunan province, died of a heart attack in May after a quarrel with the tour guide, who had allegedly forced him to shop.
Following the incident, the TIC had tightened its rules on tour guides and travel agencies. The Hong Kong Tourism Board also urged mainland visitors to use quality operators.
Figures released by the TIC showed it had received 173 complaints from mainland tourists between January and May 15 this year, soaring 65 percent from a year earlier. Most of the complaints were related to shopping activities, particularly over forced shopping disputes. The figures also hiked to 313 complaints in 2009 from 164 in 2008, up about 90 percent.
- Mainland tourists flood to HK this summer 2010-07-19