Hong Kong’s travel and tourism businesses are bracing for a fallout over the Golden Week Holidays, as China’s first Tourism Law comes into effect on October 1st.
It’s starting to look a lot like Golden Week holidays around here in Hong Kong. It’s a time when Mainland visitor arrivals peak, helping boost tourism revenues and retail sales.
Business though isn’t likely to turn out to be as brisk as in previous years, warns the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, as the Mainland’s first Tourism Law comes into effect on October first, coinciding with the peak holiday travel period for Mainland tourists.
The law, approved in April, is aimed at combating notorious "forced shopping" trips, where agencies offer cheap tours with costs offset by commissions secured from partner shops.
"I think the tour arrival definitely will be reduced. But the shopping tour occupies more than 85 percent of the total arrivals of tour groups. Of course by introducing this new law, I’m sure the shopping tour will be affected. So I think the situation is that the outbound tour will definitely be affected to a certain extent for a short period of time." Joseph Tung, Executive Director of Travel Industry Council of HK, said.
"While the law will ensure Mainland visitors don’t get ripped off during their holiday travel, it will double the price of tours to Hong Kong. A five-day trip from Beijing or Shanghai to see landmark sites like this one in Hong Kong, at The Peak, will cost thrice more from last year." Cathy Yang said.
The Travel industry Council is already forecasting a 30 percent drop in the number of group tour visits during the Golden Week holidays, with total Mainland visitor arrivals down by up to one fifth.