Tourism-industry workers should exercise "self-discipline" in upholding the good name of Hong Kong as any new regulatory legislation will take time to come into effect, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said yesterday. He was speaking in the wake of the death of mainland tourist Miao Chunqi, who was allegedly beaten by a few men in Hung Hom on Monday while trying to mediate in a row at a jeweller's. During a Legislative Council question-and-answer session yesterday, Leung highlighted the need to keep Hong Kong's reputation in hospitality. "We attach great importance to this incident. We must salvage our image as a hospitable city," he said in the light of criticism in state-run media of the city's tourism outlook. Leung also referred to the government's pledge to set up a travel industry authority to oversee the work of regulation and licensing - but said the legal preparations were "complicated". "We are stepping up drafting work … It will take more time than was originally estimated." Before the body was formed, "there should be self-discipline" in the sector, he added. The delay in setting up a regulator drew criticism from three tour-guide unions under the pro-establishment Federation of Trade Unions. They noted the government had missed its promised schedule of tabling a bill to Legco in the previous legislative year so the proposed authority could be started up this year. "In its 2011 consultation, the government proposed setting up a travel industry authority that would be responsible for issuing licences and scrutinising tour guides," Ann Yu Li-hua, chairwoman of the Professional Tourist Guides General Union, said at a joint media conference with the other two unions. "It said the statutory body would start operations in 2015, but now we still haven't even seen such a bill tabled to lawmakers yet. Don't blame legislators for filibustering." Yu said the fatal fight that took the life of Miao, 54, had damaged Hong Kong's image as a travel destination, although her union had not heard of any mainland groups cancelling tours to the city since the incident. In the absence of an official regulator, the industry has a de facto watchdog in the Travel Industry Council. Council chairman Michael Wu Siu-ieng said it monitored local agencies on contentious practices such as forcing tourists to shop and spend at certain retailers. But if such unscrupulous tactics came from mainland tour groups, they would fall beyond the council's scope of supervision, Wu said. In those cases, he said, the council could only notify the mainland tourism authorities to look into the matter.