A cross-border row over thousands of tourist dollars was being fought last night following fresh revelations of mainlanders being dumped on arrival. The Tsim Sha Tsui tour company responsible for two tour groups left stranded for hours at the China Ferry Terminal said it was owed more than $180,000 by mainland travel agents for tours held last year. Joy Luck International Travel manager Yung Lai-ting said she had warned a Shenzhen company in December that unless the money was paid, Lunar New Year tour groups would not be accepted. She said the money did not arrive, but hundreds of tourists were sent anyway. On Thursday, 19 adults and three children from Sichuan province arrived for a six-day tour but were stuck at the ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui for four hours because their tour guide did not show up. The previous day, more than 200 visitors from Guangdong spent up to nine hours at the ferry terminal because there was no guide to meet them. Key industry players said the situation was embarrassing at a time when the SAR was trying to attract visitors. 'I'm really upset about this,' said Johnny Lee Kar-ki, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Co-ordinators. 'There are no regulations for inbound travel agents and there should be, definitely, otherwise the same problem as in the past few days will happen again. 'If the agents had to be licensed by the Travel Industry Council or another department, they would not dare to do such a thing,' Mr Lee said. 'It's damaging to Hong Kong's image.' The Travel Industry Council, which licences travel agents taking bookings for trips outside Hong Kong and which counts Joy Luck as a member, said the company had eventually helped the stranded visitors. Council chairman Simon Hau Suk-kei said Joy Luck had been told to put tourists' interests ahead of its dispute over money and ensure their itinerary was not affected. A code of practice for agents handling tourists in Hong Kong was being drawn up, and mainland companies were being urged to deal only with agents associated with the Travel Industry Council.