A mainland tourist was beaten unconscious following a quarrel after he refused to buy jewelry from a shop in Hung Hom on Monday, according to reports.
The man, who is in his 50s, was said to be part of a tour group that was taken to a store at Kaiser Estate Phase Two on Man Lok Street.
During the visit to the jewelry store, the man — who bears the surname Miao — and a female member of the group had an argument with the tour guide.
Miao and the woman, a person surnamed Zhang, refused to buy anything and instead started smoking in the shop, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The tour guide, a female surnamed Deng who is also from the mainland, scolded the duo, leading to a fierce brawl between the three.
Witnesses were quoted as saying that matters got of hand after one of them was slapped on the face.
Soon some men emerged and dragged Miao out of the shop. The mainlander was found unconscious on the ground after a while, indicating that he was beaten up.
Police arrived at the scene later but the assailants were nowhere to be seen. Miao, Zhang and the tour guide were arrested for fighting in a public place before being taken to a hospital for medical attention.
Zhang and Deng were released after treatment, while Miao has been transferred to the intensive care unit and remained in critical condition, the report said.
It is said that the tour group members paid only 300 yuan each for the trip.
The low price suggests that it was primarily a shopping trip and that the organizers were hoping to make their money from commissions from retail outlets.
Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yiu-chung expressed deep concern about Monday’s incident, and stressed that acts of violence will not be tolerated.
According to the Council’s regulations, a tour guide cannot force visitors to shop or purchase anything.
Tourists can file complaints with the Council if the tour guide or the travel company violates the rule.
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