HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Tighter tour guide rules loom after visitors overwhelm Lantau

Tour guides operating without a license may soon be a criminal offence.

Hong Kong is pushing for stricter tour guide requirements after a wave of tourists swarmed Lantau Island as led by alleged illegal agents from the Mainland, reports South China Morning Post. 

The Hong Kong Tourism Commission has said it would lobby for the Travel Industry Bill to undergo a second reading by the end of 2018. The bill makes it a criminal offence for tour guides to operate without a licence.

Thousands of Mainland visitors in tour groups crossed the recently-opened Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, sparking concerns from residents.

Around 96,500 visitors passed through the immigration facility located on the mega bridge link on Sunday which is slightly less than the peak of 102,900 seen a week earlier.

Also read: Hotels get pricier as high-speed rail delivers more business

The government has officially tied up with Macau and Guangdong province as they work together to package the Greater Bay Area as a leading tourism destination.

Gianna Hsu, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Japanese Tour Operators Association, told SCMP in an earlier interview that the GBA tourism project could generate 5% growth in the number of Japanese visitors to Hong Kong in 2019.

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