The levy imposed on outbound tours is unlikely to be lowered even though the Travel Industry Compensation Fund has ample reserves, the Economic Development and Labour Bureau says. Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan revealed the decision in a written response after legislator Howard Young pointed out the fund had accumulated about $300 million since it was established in 1993. Mr Young said the fund had paid out only about $17 million in compensation and emergency financial relief to tourists. The fund was set up to facilitate compensation payments in the event of any losses to tourists caused by travel agents, including death and injuries sustained during any activities for which they are responsible. Under the current system, travel agents are required to contribute 0.3 per cent of their outbound tour fares, half of which is put into the fund. Mr Ip said the fund's management board wanted to maintain a healthy reserve to ensure it could meet any liabilities arising from unexpected claims. He said the board saw no immediate requirement to adjust the rate of the levy, but would conduct reviews every five years.