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Advice for Inbound Travellers

Advice for Inbound Travellers

All travel agents carrying on inbound travel business in Hong Kong are required by law to obtain a travel agent’s licence, the requisite for which is TIC membership. Visitors may lodge a complaint with the TIC if they are not satisfied with the services of its members. The TIC has provided the following protection for inbound group visitors:

Protection for Inbound Group Visitors

Refund Protection Scheme (Registered Shops) for Inbound Tour Group Shoppers

Under the scheme, group visitors who are taken to registered shops by their travel agents are entitled to a full refund if they are not satisfied with their purchases and make a refund request within six months (for mainland visitors) or 14 days (for overseas visitors) after purchase. Tour group shoppers seeking a full refund must produce the original receipt and return the purchased item, which must be undamaged and on which there must be no wear and tear because of use.

Imposition of Demerits on Registered Shops

Before taking visitors to any shops, members must register those shops with the TIC; and those registered shops must honour a number of pledges made to the TIC. Registered shops in breach of any one of the pledges will be given a certain number of demerits by the Committee on Shopping-related Practices. Once they have accumulated 30 demerits, their registration will be revoked, and member agents will be forbidden to arrange for visitors to patronise the registered shops concerned.

For details of the Refund Protection Scheme (Registered Shops) for Inbound Tour Group Shoppers, please see Directive No. 225 issued by the TIC.

Tourists from mainland China are advised to take a look at the “shop smart” portal of the Consumer Council before shopping in Hong Kong on their own. If they need to complain after going shopping on their own, please contact the Consumer Council.

Apart from the above, inbound group visitors may choose freely whether to join self-pay activities or not, and the local receiving agent will make appropriate arrangements for those who choose not to join.

Protection for Inbound Group Visitors from Mainland China

In order to protect the interests of inbound tour group visitors from mainland China, the TIC has put in place the following measures on top of those mentioned above:

  • Tour coaches which transport inbound group visitors are required to display the Travel Agent’s Licence numbers of their local travel agents and the tour codes of the tour groups registered with the TIC in a prominent position so that the visitors can verify whether the Hong Kong travel agents are licensed. For details, please see Directive Nos. 146, 221 and 222 issued by the TIC.
  • Tourist guides responsible for receiving inbound tour groups are required to obtain the Tourist Guide Pass issued by the TIC, and wear it on their chest when performing their duties. For details, please see the Code of Conduct for Tourist Guides issued by the TIC.
  • Travel agents are required to immediately distribute the itineraries through tourist guides to each inbound group visitors from mainland China on their arrival in Hong Kong. And the itineraries need to contain detailed information about meals, accommodation, transport, sightseeing, entertainment and shopping arrangements. For details, please see Directive No. 196 issued by the TIC.

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