The widow of a mainland tourist who died after being beaten unconscious outside a jewelry shop in To Kwa Wan dismissed speculation that her husband was suffering from some illness prior to the attack.
The victim, 53-year-old Miao Chunqi, was beaten after trying to mediate in a quarrel between a female mainland tourist and a tour guide who berated her for not making any purchase at the jewelry shop.
Miao’s wife, surnamed Zhang, insisted in an interview with a mainland newspaper that her husband’s health condition was normal before he left for Hong Kong.
Zhang and seven other members of Miao’s family arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday night from Heilongjiang to identify the body.
Travel Industry Council (TIC) executive director Joseph Tung Yiu-chung, who received the group, said the family members were tired and devastated. The TIC is providing assistance to the family during their stay in the city.
Meanwhile, two tour guides suspected of involvement in the incident, including a 44-year-old Hong Kong citizen, were set to appear before the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to face manslaughter charges, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The local suspect was taken back to the jewelry shop for a reconstruction of the incident.
The China National Tourism Administration has released a statement expressing deep concern over the mainland tourist’s death.
Meanwhile, mainland newspaper Global Times published an editorial on Wednesday condemning the incident, saying that it will ruin Hong Kong’s image as a tourist destination among mainlanders.
The article said mainland tourists are being ripped off every day and the situation has reached a tipping point.
Leung Fong-yuen, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Tourism Industry Employees General Union, said the industry has become aware of so-called “shadow tourists” — around two or three persons in each tour group — who have been hired by travel agencies to persuade tourists to spend.
Leung said a mainland ordinance enacted in 2013 against tour operators who charge very low fees but force tourists to spend in designated shops is only being enforced among major travel agencies as authorities do not have the manpower to supervise smaller agencies.
Meanwhile, police arrested two women, aged 32 and 53, who were involved in the jewelry shop incident for fighting in a public place.
The two were released on bail and due to report to the police by end of the month.
Mainland tourist beaten at jewelry shop dies (Oct. 20, 2015)
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