China’s National Tourism Administration has issued an advisory on travel to Hong Kong in the wake of a videotape posted on the Internet that shows a Hong Kong tour guide allegedly abusing a group of visitors from the Chinese mainland and forcing them to shop.
China’s Xinhua news agency reports that the video has triggered a backlash from the mainland public.
Hong Kong attracts hordes of Chinese tourists, many of them on shopping trips for luxury or brand-name goods that are more expensive on the mainland.
But budget Chinese tour packages often try to boost profits by taking tourists to shops which return a percentage of the sales revenue to the agency. The practice is common both in mainland China and on overseas tours offered by Chinese agencies.
Xinhua cited an unnamed spokesman for the tourism administration as saying the regulator was concerned about the measures taken by Hong Kong tourism authority over such practices. It has ordered a probe into the case by regulators and mainland travel agencies.
Last month, Hong Kong tourism authorities pledged to tighten rules to protect travellers from forced shopping or visits to designated shopping stops, Xinhua said. A 65-year-old tourist from Hunan Province died from a heart attack in Hong Kong in May after arguing with a tour guide over being forced to shop, Xinhua said.