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Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

Thousands of tour guides getting back to work as local tours set to resume

Thousands of tour guides getting back to work as local tours set to resume

The chairman of the Travel Industry Council, Jason Wong Chun-tat, said around 1,000 tour guides may get back to work if local tours are given the green light by authorities.
Local tours can resume next month at the earliest to revive the tourism industry, which has ground to a halt for more than a year amid the pandemic.

But the industry must follow strict anti-epidemic measures in order to get things back on track, according to reports.

Tourists must use the LeaveHomeSafe app when boarding the tour bus and entering restaurants and scenic spots, while guides and bus drivers must be tested negative for the coronavirus every fortnight.

Wong said the industry is happy to comply with the requirements, and if local touring was given the green light, it could restore around 10 to 20 percent of the industry’s business.

He also said tourists refusing to use the app would not make a difference, as travel agencies already have their contact information when they sign up for the tours, and could provide to authorities for contact tracing when necessary.

Meanwhile, Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said the “Free Tours” program introduced by the Hong Kong Tourism Board will have its quota doubled in the next round.

Yiu also said the government’s Green Lifestyle Local Tour Incentive Scheme will most likely get a one-year extension, given the tours were put on hold with the ongoing pandemic.

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