Lack of government action to reverse the slump in tourism has left companies 'bleeding', the former chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents said. Edmund Tsang Sik-yiu said yesterday that radical action was needed or companies would go bankrupt. 'Many operators are going to die very soon,' he said. He told a Better Hong Kong Foundation tourism forum that 20,000 videos should be distributed immediately worldwide to dispel the image that Hong Kong had changed since July. Chinese University economics department lecturer Dr Kwong Kai-sun said his research showed the Government had to alter its hands-off philosophy and set up co-ordinating bodies bridging government departments. His report, commissioned by the foundation, also found hotel room rates were among the 15 most expensive in the world. Service quality had to be maintained to justify such prices, Dr Kwong said. Hong Kong Tourist Association executive director Amy Chan Cheung Yi-yim said it was time for the Government to adopt new policies to show it was responding to the crisis. She backed calls for a central bureau to champion tourism, and cut short Economic Services Secretary Leo Kwan Wing-wah when he defended plans to keep airport tax. Mr Kwan said there was no need to abolish the tax as it was a very small part of the cost of visiting the SAR. 'But it would be a gesture,' Mrs Chan said. Tourism provisional legislator Howard Young said that government departments in the past had a reputation for being unhelpful. Even small changes in policy such as allowing tourist coaches through the Lok Ma Chau border crossing on day trips to mainland sites or speeding up issuing visas to Taiwanese citizens would help, Mr Young said. Mr Kwan denied the Government had done nothing to help reverse the slump. He said regular meetings were held with the tourist association and that $100 million extra had been given in Tung Chee-hwa's policy speech to attract world events.