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Mainland, Hong Kong reach agreements in tourism administration

08-03-2010 08:37 BJT

The Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) reached five agreements Saturday to better administer the tourism industry.

The two sides signed the papers at a meeting here Saturday attended by Shao Qiwei, head of the National Tourism Administration, and Rita Lau, Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.

The two sides agreed to boost communication and cooperation between the administrative organs.

The meeting was held after conflicts between mainland tourists and tour guides in Hong Kong, in which some mainland tourists complained about "forced shopping."

Companies offering cheap tour packages sometimes increase profits by taking tourists to shops which return a percentage of the sales revenue back to the tourism agency.

Shao said such practices were unfair, adding that mainland authorities would promptly deal with such violations and revoke the licenses of agencies in cases of serious violation.

Lau said Hong Kong was considering using regulation to improve tour guides' conduct.

A special task force had been established to examine the so-called "zero fee" tour packages, Lau said.

Forced shopping violated the regulations of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, Lau said.

The number of mainland tourists to Hong Kong hit 10.66 million in the first half, a 23.89 percent year-on-year increase.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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