No matter how quickly Hong Kong authorities reacted to mainland media claims that tourists had been sold fake goods, the damage had been done. Since the allegations were aired by China Central Television on April 1, there has been a noticeable fall in visitor numbers from across the border - although the trend does not appear to be reflected in figures for arrivals on the first day of the 'golden week' holiday. Our officials and the tourism industry have been doing and saying what is necessary. Investigations have been launched, the government intends to tighten rules, talks have been held with mainland authorities and more self-regulation has been promised by tour and trading groups. As the holiday began, customs officers seized HK$2.5 million in counterfeit products in tourist areas and 35 people were arrested. Such efforts to repair our tainted image are essential. Just as important, though, is ensuring that the rhetoric of the past month is backed up by continued action. This is not a one-sided issue. No matter what the destination, common sense is a shopping prerequisite. Terms and conditions of sale and if necessary, proof of authenticity, should always be asked for when buying expensive items. One positive impact of the controversy has been increased awareness among mainland visitors of the need to take care when they shop. Tourism is a major component of Hong Kong's economy and shopping is a key reason for people to come here. The perception among mainland visitors that they can be confident that what they buy here is genuine has taken a knock with the CCTV claims and some tourists have opted to spend their holiday elsewhere. Convincing such people that otherwise is the case will clearly take more than words and raids on unscrupulous traders. The process of restoring lost confidence is well under way. Promises of better self-regulation through such steps as tightening the rules for tour-approved shops and extending the shopping refund period must be properly enacted. The government has to ensure that its regulations are strong and being followed. Effective action is the only way to restore what has been lost.