Hong Kong’s tourism chief and the pro-establishment camp have denounced recent protests against mainlanders, saying they are hurting the city’s reputation as a tourist-friendly destination. Demonstrations targeting mainland tourists and parallel traders in shopping centres in Tuen Mun and Sha Tin in the past two weeks led to angry clashes, with police using pepper spray and drawing batons. “We condemn and do not accept any violent protests that are law-breaking. Hong Kong has to keep its image as a friendly city,” Tourism Commissioner Cathy Chu told the Legislative Council’s panel on economic development yesterday. Legislator Chan Kam-lam from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said such behaviour would cause panic to all tourists and not just parallel traders. However, Councillor Kenneth Leung, of the accountancy sector, urged the government to review multiple-entry permits to Shenzhen residents. “Would there be anyone travelling to London 20 times a year, 30 times to New York, just to buy bread and shampoo? No,” he said. Chu acknowledged that parallel-trading activities were causing a nuisance to communities. She said the Hong Kong government was still discussing local concerns with Beijing to decide on the best way forward. Separately Priscilla Lau Pui-king, a local delegate to the national legislature, said arrests and condemnation alone could not solve the problem and urged the government to take decisive action against parallel traders.