Hong Kong needs to rebuild its image as a hospitable place with good services and every resident has a responsibility to welcome tourists, the government said on Wednesday.
At a Legco meeting, lawmakers asked if the government could improve the quality of services provided by frontline workers in the tourism sector, saying there have been some negative reports in the media regarding the treatment of visitors.
In response, tourism minister Kevin Yeung said there are already training courses for those in the industry, including tour guides, but added: "Unfortunately, there are always occasions that cast a shadow over the quality of our service."
Yeung said it's not just down to tourism sector workers, however, to make visitors feel welcome, noting that many holidaymakers travel around the city independently.
"They will just wander about. They ask passersby for directions. They visit local shops. So I think it's down to personal etiquette, culture, and the spirit to help. In this regard, we will do our best to promote these good qualities," Yeung said.
"I hope every Hong Kong citizen or every service provider can fulfil their own responsibility to welcome and respect our tourists so that our tourists can have a good travel experience when they come to Hong Kong," Yeung also told reporters.
The minister said the government will work with the tourism board to arrange more promotions locally, to rebuild Hong Kong's image as a polite and welcoming place.