DAB troubled by low-price, nuisance tours from mainland

Local | 24 Dec 2018 3:39 pm

The government has been urged to ask the mainland whether it can reduce the number of tourists coming to Hong Kong on cheap tours. The pro-Beijing DAB party claimed that parts of Kowloon are inundated with noisy visitors causing a nuisance to residents.

The party said today that around five million mainlanders visit Hong Kong every year as part of "low-price tour groups". It said most end up in Hung Hom or To Kwa Wan, where they are told where to shop and where to eat.

The party's chairwoman and legislator Starry Lee Wai-king said the large number of tourists create a lot of noise, and they often block paths in the area, forcing others to walk on the roads.

She also railed against the coaches carrying the visitors around the city, saying they cause serious traffic congestion, and double and even triple park. Lee said it is common to see passengers getting on and off the coaches in the middle of a road.

The DAB chief said the police should step up traffic control in these areas and the government should study whether the tourists could be diverted to other areas, such as the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.

But she said Hong Kong could also ask the mainland authorities whether they could reduce the number of such tour groups coming to the SAR in the first place.

"Of course every tourist brings an economic benefit to our society. But we cannot only look at the economic benefit. We have to have a balance," Lee said.

"We can see that these low-price tours cause a lot of nuisance to the local community. Therefore we urge the government, the relevant bureaus, to do things urgently to deal with this issue."

After the bridge to Zhuhai and Macau opened in October, residents of Tung Chung complained their lives were being made a misery by a sudden influx of mainland tour groups.

Asked whether arrivals via the new bridge had made the situation in parts of Kowloon worse, Lee said only that many factors contribute to the problems there.

The DAB also urged the Travel Industry Council to take shops off its registered list under the Refund Protection Scheme if they are found to cater only to low-price tourist groups.-Photo: RTHK

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