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Friday, Dec 09, 2022

Quarantine hotel scalping 'just an isolated concern'

Quarantine hotel scalping 'just an isolated concern'

The scalping of Hong Kong quarantine hotel rooms on mainland platforms are likely isolated incidents, a tourism sector representative said.
This came after mainland merchants advertised the hotel rooms at prices ranging between 18,000 yuan (HK$21,000) and 23,000 yuan for a seven-day quarantine.

The prices were up to four times higher than normal.

A staff member of mainland social media platform Red said the price for a seven-day package with meals included comes in at 16,800 yuan, adding customers are required to pay in advance.

Further, they cannot choose the hotel they wish to stay in.

However, the executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, Timothy Chui Ting-pong, said such cases are likely isolated incidents as there is a real-name registration system in place, which would make it difficult for scalpers to resell rooms. He suggested that scalpers got their hands on the rooms after occupants contracted Covid-19.

However, he could not rule out the possibility that hotel staff colluded with travel agencies to make a quick buck, adding that hotels should review their booking procedures.

Legislative Council tourism representative Yiu Pak-leung said he hopes the government will review its policies on quarantine hotels.

Due to the rising number of inbound travelers, Yiu said, the existing 23,000 quarantine hotel rooms are insufficient. He urged authorities to allow home quarantine for residents in order to free up quarantine centers and hotels.

Yiu's Legco colleague Doreen Kong Yuk-foon also criticized the official quarantine hotel booking website as inaccurate and misleading.

She advised authorities increase the number of hotels in the scheme, update booking information on the website and establish measures to counter scalpers.

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