21 September 2019
Is Hong Kong's tourism industry too willing to cede to demands from difficult visitors? Photo: Bloomberg
Is Hong Kong's tourism industry too willing to cede to demands from difficult visitors? Photo: Bloomberg

Does Hong Kong treat bad tourists too well?

It’s a Facebook post that’s got Hongkongers thinking about how to handle tourists when they get out of hand and start making irrational demands. 

A man believed to be a Hong Kong tour guide wrote on the social network last week about a group of mainland tourists brawling in the lobby of a European Holiday Inn and telling off hotel staff for charging 3.5 euros (US$4.74) per hour for WiFi.

Roy Kwan wrote that he saw the squabble while he was taking care of another tour group.

He said the hotel staff then called the police and demanded the two men who started the trouble leave the hotel immediately. The men slipped back into the hotel later that night and slept on the floor of their tour guide’s room, according to the Facebook post.

The post was then widely circulated on the site, with commentors suggesting that if the incident happened in Hong Kong, the hotel involved would probably do whatever the tourists wanted to settle the matter and avoid any trouble.

Take the example of Hong Kong Airlines which apologized to 77 mainland passengers and gave them HK$800 for a flight delay caused by air traffic control on the mainland. The concession was made after the passengers occupied the plane for nearly 18 hours.

And in April, 29 individual visitors from the mainland became furious after they realized that the four rooms they had booked in a Chungking Mansions inn was too small to fit them all, Apple Daily reported.

The inn owner eventually gave in and offered more rooms for free as well as a partial refund to pacify the angry tourists, the report said.

Hong Kong is a tourist city and if anything happens, the message will spread quickly, Sky Post reported Thursday, citing Wong Ka-wing, a senior instructor in tourism studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education.

“Whenever people in the industry encounter scoundrels, they make concessions to protect their image even though it means some loss to their business,” Wong said.

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