It is vital for the local economy that Hong Kong maintains its reputation as a destination that offers mainland visitors enjoyable holidays and value for money. When our brand is threatened, we should be worried. No time or effort should be spared in restoring it. Otherwise, a stain on the city's image can linger. Sadly, that is what has been happening for nearly two weeks now as a result of repeated reruns of an embarrassing video clip showing a tour guide berating mainland visitors for not spending enough on a forced shopping tour. The story is so notorious - though far from an isolated incident of its kind - that there is no need to go into the details again. More important is the perception that the Hong Kong is still being damaged by this kind of behaviour, increasing pressure on the government and our tourism industry leaders to counter this message. The Travel Industry Council response is to hand out stickers and other promotional material to tour groups highlighting the rights of mainlanders, and extending the hours of a complaints hotline. This amounts to leaving them to look out for themselves. It says these are only short-term measures. We trust that is all they are, and that a special task force set up by the council comes up with some concrete steps to mend the city's image by the September deadline set by the government. Officials have not ruled out introducing legislation if the industry is not capable of regulating itself responsibly. That is fair enough, since the government is depending on tourism to help drive future economic development. But surely the industry must get the message about the need to put its own house in order. Tours are being underpriced to meet cut-throat competition, with no margin to pay guides, who must then seek compensation through commissions. Hence the forced shopping. A crackdown on travel agents and forced shopping venues, and licensing of tour guides should be stepped up until it forces tour prices up and weak operators out. A loss of some tour business in the short term is a small price to pay to uphold the reputation of brand Hong Kong.