To mark World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, the Hong Kong Tourism Broad relaunched its Quality and Honesty Hong Kong Tour service and called on tourists to be savvy consumers.
HKTB's call had a swift response from the tourism industry on the Chinese mainland. Fifty eight Chinese travel service providers that had joined the Quality and Honesty scheme promised to continue offering quality Hong Kong travel products and to try to create a high quality Hong Kong travel market environment.
It is understood that all travel products sold under the scheme have to conform to the principles of no self-financed travel items, no mandatory shopping, and no extra charges.
Statistics show that 29.5 million tourists visited Hong Kong in 2008, which was an increase of 4.7% over the previous year. HKTB says that most of these tourists came from the Chinese mainland: about 16.6 million, up 8.8% on the previous year.
Jointly initiated by China National Tourism Administration and HKTB at the end of 2006, Quality and Honesty is a tourism promotion program implemented in regions across China in cooperation with the local tourism bureaus. There are special counters for the Quality and Honesty scheme in many Chinese cities, providing consulting services for tourists.