Travel firm investors told to boost funds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 June, 2012, 12:00am


The Tourism Commission has ordered shareholders in a tour agency run by a high-profile travel industry figure to fulfil their promise to inject funds into the company after its mainland business partners accused it of failing to pay a HK$900,000 debt.

Representatives of several mainland tour agencies met staff of the commission's Travel Agents Registry yesterday to discuss debts they say have been run up by SIG Holiday, run by former Travel Industry Council chairman Simon Hau Suk-kei.

A spokesman for the commission said it had previously expressed concerns about SIG's finances.

'In consideration of the seriousness of the case, we have already repeated our request for the company's shareholders to keep their promise to inject capital,' the spokesman said.

'We have also moved forward the deadline for the submission of a complete financial report to the registry to make sure the company has sufficient cash flow.'

But Hau insisted yesterday that he did not owe the mainland agents the amount they claimed, saying they had overcharged him.

Hau said yesterday that the mainland agents had tried to bribe senior executives of his company. But he did not say whether he had reported the bribery claims to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Hau said that when the dispute came to light last week, his company's finances were healthy and that the dispute was over just HK$200,000 with two mainland agents. He said he had refused to pay because of poor service to customers.

The dispute relates to visits by mainland tourists to Hong Kong co-organised by SIG and its partners.

The commission spokesman said the body would not rule out further action if SIG failed to comply with its request. The commission has the power to suspend the operating licences of tour agencies.

Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yiu-chung said yesterday it would not launch an investigation into the case as it does not intervene in commercial arguments.