Macau has become an innocent victim of Hong Kong's shopping scandals, which are also turning some tourist shoppers away from the former Portuguese enclave. To minimise the impact, Macau's government is launching an honesty campaign to prevent shopping scams during the 'golden week' national holiday starting on May 1. Andy Wu Keng-kuong, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, said the city's tourism growth had slowed considerably following the Hong Kong scandals this month. In each of the first three months, Macau enjoyed about 20 per cent year-on-year growth in visitor arrivals, but Mr Wu said the April growth rate would probably drop to 10 per cent. He further predicted that the arrivals in 'golden week' would stay at a level similar to the same period last year. 'The fall in Hong Kong-bound tour groups will certainly affect Macau,' said Mr Wu, adding: 'Hong Kong and Macau's tourism sectors are interdependent.' Mainland broadcaster CCTV reported on April 1 that mainland tourists had been fleeced by Hong Kong jewellery and watch shops, causing many mainland travellers to shun the city as a destination. Most travel agencies targeting mainlanders operate combined itineraries so when tourists shun Hong Kong, they also spurn Macau. Few agencies would offer Macau-only tours even in the wake of Hong Kong's shopping scandals. The tours always visit Hong Hong first, perhaps because Macau allows anyone with a valid visa for Hong Kong to enter Macau, but not vice versa. Similarly, a levy recently imposed by Hong Kong's Inbound Tour Operators' Association - to stop zero-fee tours that involve forced and misled shopping - has also stopped some mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong and therefore Macau. 'Hong Kong used to be the first choice for mainland tourists, while Macau was the icing on the cake,' said Zhang Yao , a manager at China Travel Service in Guangzhou. He said the number of travellers choosing Hong Kong-Macau tours had dropped about 30 per cent since the imposition of the HK$300 levy. Also, some jewellery and watch shops in Macau said they had experienced a decline in mainland customers in April. 'It seems a bit quiet nowadays with apparently fewer tourists,' said Ho Siu-chi, a manager at Chow Sang Sang Jewellery near Senado Square. He said buyers appeared to be extra cautious. 'Customers are asking more detailed questions about the products,' he said. A meeting was held in Macau involving the Consumer Council, the Government Tourism Office, Economic Services and Customs officials earlier this week. The authorities will step up random inspections on shopping outlets and impose higher requirements for accurate product descriptions. The Macau Consumer Council has received a larger-than-usual number of inquiries from mainland tourists this month.