Travel sickness

Edward Mak, King George V School
Edward Mak, King George V School |

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More and more tourists are flooding here from the mainland to celebrate their holidays. Many Hongkongers benefit from this influx of tourists. Shops are doing brisk sales and most hotels are jam-packed with visitors.

Sadly, not all is well. Some tourists have fallen victim to scams by unscrupulous operators. In several reported incidents, mainland tourists were essentially locked inside certain stores and forced to buy goods like fake designer handbags and expensive jewellery. In other cases mainland tourists were forced to sleep in a coach and take a shower in a nearby toilet instead of the promised three-star hotel. The tour guide claimed that the hotel was full at the time, but that was only a ruse.

Such scams undermine Hong Kong's reputation as a haven for tourists. The authorities should do far more to ensure visitors don't get cheated. We need stricter regulations and harsher penalties. It's that simple.