New measures underway to reduce crowds - RTHK
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New measures underway to reduce crowds

2023-03-29 HKT 13:19
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  • New measures underway to reduce crowds
The Travel Industry Authority said on Wednesday that the tourism and catering sectors have promised to adopt a slew of measures to minimise the impact of mainland tour groups on the community, especially in the Kowloon City area.

This comes after residents in the neighbourhood complained about crowded streets, noise and litter left by visitors joining so-called “budget tours”.

The tourism regulator said that from Thursday, tour groups will have to make reservations for meals at restaurants, adding that eateries should also arrange staff for crowd control.

Kowloon City district councillor Pun Kwok-wah also told an RTHK programme that tour groups should avoid parking their coaches on busy streets.

"We found that some coaches were parked on the streets in To Kwa Wan. This is not ideal. We hope they can use parking lots in the district... It would also be better if they picked up and dropped off tourists at the parking lots, and brought them to the restaurants," he said.

Amid reports that some tourists were only given 15 minutes to have their lunch, catering representatives now say they will be given at least 30 minutes to enjoy their meals.

Simon Wong, head of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said while he welcomes the changes, restaurants may have to put up their prices as a result.

"The fee per person was about HK$40 to HK$60. The profit was very low. The meal time is extended now and the number of tour groups we can serve will decrease. Restaurants may mark up their price... for at least 20 percent," Wong said.

He added that mainland tour groups can also dine in other districts and other restaurants, such as large cha chaan tengs and fast food shops, to minimise the impact on one neighbourhood.

New measures underway to reduce crowds