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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

More applications for local tours to quench wanderlust

More applications for local tours to quench wanderlust

The Travel Industry Council received a dozen more applications for local tours on Wednesday right before Covid-19 rules are set to be relaxed on Thursday, involving 40 new trips.
The council said they will review the applications, but added it can't say for sure whether the travel agencies can start the trips on Thursday in time.

As the Covid rules ease, each trip will be capped at 30 guests. The limit can be further relaxed to 100 if all guests test negative before the trip begins.

The agencies must also submit the itineraries to the council and sign a declaration form promising that all guests and workers will comply with other anti-pandemic rules, before the council grants them approval.

Some agencies expected they will start the local trips as soon as this Saturday as they need some time to confirm the vaccination status of workers, adding that they will cap the number of guests at 30 or less.

Timothy Chui Ting-pong, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association believed trips capped at 30 will be held everyday starting on Thursday when speaking on a radio program.

Yet, he pointed out it will be difficult to hold trips capped at 100, which mostly target community organizations and schools as they probably do not have plans to carry out such large-scale activities at the early stage of the relaxation.

Meanwhile, the government planning to impose a new regulation system targeting the tourism sector.

According to documents submitted to the Legislative Council on Wednesday, the government suggested the Travel Industry Authority take over some works of Travel Agents Registry, Travel Industry Council and Travel Industry Compensation Fund Management Board on July 4.

The government also proposed extending the license fees exemption for travel agents until September 30, 2023, as well as a three-year license fees exemption for tour guides.

The government suggested empowering the authority to impose additional conditions on the license of travel agencies and tour guides, targeting the misconduct of forcing guests to make purchases during their trips.
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