Only 250 mainland tourist groups visited Hong Kong on Tuesday, the first day of the week-long National Day holiday in the mainland, marking a 30 percent drop from last year’s 360 groups, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported Wednesday, citing data from the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TICHK). Fifty of the 250 groups this year were shopping tours, which accounted for 80 percent of the tour groups last year. Despite the drop in tourist groups, the TICHK is forecasting a mild growth of 3 to 4 percent in the total number of mainland visitors this year under the individual tourist scheme. China’s new tourism law, which took effect on Tuesday, bans the practice of “forced shopping” wherein agents earn commission by taking tourists to participating shops, the report said.
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