Hong Kong’s travel industry must take immediate action to improve itself amid a surge of complaints against the sector, Consumer Council chairman Wong Yuk-shan said.
His warning came after the council said in a report released on Tuesday that it received a total of 2,642 complaints relating to travel matters last year, up 41 percent from 2014.
The number of complaints against the travel industry was next only to the 3,779 complaints relating to telecommunication services, which remained at the top of all complaint categories but down 37 percent from 2014.
In total, the council received 27,378 complaints last year, down 12 percent from 2014.
Complaints against goods and services accounted for 48 percent and 52 percent, respectively.
In the travel sector, complaints regarding air tickets and airlines rose 63 percent and 36 percent respectively.
Together they accounted for more than 70 percent of all complaints about travel matters, while the remaining 30 percent were about hotel bookings, tours, hotel and air travel packages, etc.
The council attributed such the surge in travel complaints mainly to the fact that budget airlines have proliferated in recent years.
Complaints related to budget airlines jumped 57 percent to 1,197 cases last year.
Budget airlines normally offer cheaper airfare while their scope of services are limited and differ from that of traditional carriers, Metro Daily quoted council chief executive Gilly Wong as saying.
The gap between consumer expectations and actual services often led to disputes and complaints, Wong said, adding that budget airline operators should treat their customers fairly.
The council also said the number of complaints from mainland tourists about goods they purchased, especially ginseng, dried seafood and jewelry and watches, has been on the rise.
The number of complaints about beauty treatment therapies that cost HK$100,000 or more rose 60 percent to 78 cases last year.
– Contact us at [email protected]