'Tours will be of limited help to big tourism firms' - RTHK
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'Tours will be of limited help to big tourism firms'

2020-10-24 HKT 11:25
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  • 'Tours will be of limited help to big tourism firms'
Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said on Saturday that local tours will help small travel agencies get up to 20 percent of their normal business back, but will be of limited help to larger firms.

Tours of not more than 30 people have been allowed since Friday, with restrictions relaxed as the pandemic situation eased.

Jason Wong, chairman of the Travel Industry Council, didn’t reveal how many people have signed up for the tours, only saying that it takes time to see how popular they are.

But he said the sector should be happy to hold green local tours as the government is giving each agency a maximum subsidy of HK$200,000.

He said around 50 travel agencies have registered over 100 tours with the council, but only a few will be heading out over the long weekend.

“Just a few of those groups managed to depart in the coming few days, because after the announcement by the government [on Tuesday], they may not have enough of time to get the bookings, so we expect more will be coming next week,” he said.

Wong added that those holding a tour this weekend will need to show proof they have undergone a Covid-19 test after Monday.

He said the council is also arranging a free test for tour guides soon to boost people’s confidence in joining local tours, adding the sector is not a high-risk group.