A major tour operator said it would run local tour groups at a loss as the government moved to ease social-distancing measures, giving the ailing trade a lifeline.
The executive director of WWPKG Holdings, Yuen Chun-ning, said since the government announced earlier in the week that licensed travel agencies are allowed to run tour groups of as many as 30 people from Friday, it had received more than 100 enquiries and about 60 bookings each day for its tours.
He described the response as "quite good".
Yuen said that a tour of about a dozen people will set off on Saturday.
He said WWPKG will run such tours even though they would be loss-making, after the Covid outbreak battered the tourism trade and many employees lost their jobs or were forced to take unpaid leave or pay cuts.
Yuen said in general, tour groups would only break even if they have about 15 to 20 travellers.
On infection control, tour guides are to be tested for Covid-19 before the start of the tour, and participants are required to wear a face mask except when they are eating.
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau, called on everyone to be self-disciplined and abide by the rules. "We need cooperation from both people in the trade, like the travel trade business, as well as people who will continue to observe social distancing and also maintaining public health."
The government is expected to offer free tests to registered tour guides next week.
Last updated: 2020-10-23 HKT 15:42