Hong Kong to Set Up Tourism Regulator, Forced Shopping to Be Severely Sanctioned



(Yicai Global) Dec. 8 -- To safeguard the development of Hong Kong tourism, the Panel on Economic Development of the Hong Kong Legislative Council on Wednesday proposed establishing a 30-member Tourism Regulatory Agency.

China News Service quoted Hong Kong China News Agency as saying the Tourism Regulatory Agency (TRA) will become the new statutory regulator. It will replace the existing Travel Agents Registry and the Travel Industry Council to take charge of licensing and industry oversight.

The TRA will have 30 members, including 17 non-industry and 13 industry representatives comprising travel agents, tour guides and team leaders.

The Panel warned travel agencies not to force inbound tour groups to shop or subject tour members to badgering or threatening behavior. Offenders could face fines of up to HKD100,000 (USD13,000) and two years' incarceration.