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 May 11, 2001
Hong Kong Tourism Board Welcomes Law On Consumer Protection

 The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) today (11 May) welcomed the proposed legislation submitted by the Consumer Council on strengthening the protection of consumer rights. HKTB Executive Director Ms Clara Chong said that strengthening legislation relating to consumer rights would help to reinforce Hong Kong's international image and raise its level of competitiveness. "It would also increase consumer confidence when visitors shop and dine in Hong Kong," she said. "We hope, however, that the new legislation will not further impose constraints on either the trade or on consumers."

Before 1 April 2001, the HKTB was known as the Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) and operated under a Membership scheme. Previously complaints from visitors against non-HKTA Members of the retail and catering industries were forwarded to the Consumer Council for handling. Since the tourism body's constitutional restructuring on 1 April, complaints against these establishments are forwarded to the Consumer Council or to the Secretariat of the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme.

Cases relating to other sectors are forwarded to their respective associations in order to provide visitors with timely and satisfactory solutions.

"More importantly, shops and restaurants should be adopting fair and proper business practices," Ms Chong added. "The QTS Scheme promoted by the HKTB recommends shops and restaurants that have successfully passed a stringent assessment criteria. Apart from providing quality services, they must also offer fair prices and goods as well as an extensive choice of products," Ms Chong stressed.

In 2000, the then HKTA received 468 complaints from visitors, among which 284 cases were related to the retail and catering services. Complaints received from visitors between January and April 2001, totalled 127, with 65 cases being against retail and catering businesses.