Jewellery store owners in Hong Kong fear business will not recover for months despite optimism over the lifting of the World Health Organisation travel advisory. Traders said they did not expect business to bounce back dramatically to pre-Sars levels, and they were disappointed with sluggish trade at the weekend. They said business would probably not return to normal until the end of the year, at the earliest. Many were pinning their hopes on Guangdong tourists returning at the weekend when the travel ban was lifted, but this has been thrown into confusion. The delay in the resumption of tours came after Hong Kong and Guangdong could not agree on guidelines covering issues such as payment for treatment of mainland tourists who contracted Sars. It is now believed organised tours will resume this week, perhaps on Thursday. 'It's typical for the mainland. You cannot expect them to be clear,' said a disappointed Shum Cheuk-wai, a manager of the luxury watch store Halewinner in Causeway Bay. 'On Saturday it was in the news that the tours would come, then later they said they can't, and now individual travellers can come. 'I think it was not the decision of the Hong Kong government, it was Guangdong's,' he said. 'Of course, Hong Kong could foot the bill for the tourists if they fell ill. After all, the chances of catching Sars are slim anyway.' Another jeweller was more philosophical. 'It's better late than never,' said Charlie Leung Wai-kei, a branch manager for Kam Kau Jewellery and Goldsmith in Causeway Bay that had stocked up on products suited to mainland buyers. Mr Shum said wealthy mainland businessmen could spend $300,000 on watches in one visit - much more than local customers. Mainland shoppers make up 60 per cent of Mr Shum's customer base. The environment is just as bad for jewellery dealers. Elaine Chan, a manager of Tai Cheong Jewellery and Goldsmith, also in Causeway Bay, said business dropped by about 70 per cent recently. She said she would welcome the resumption of tours.