Tourists warned of Hong Kong 'forced to shop' schemes

China's National Tourism Administration issued an advisory to mainland tourists after a disturbing video of visitors being forced to shop by a Hong Kong guide appeared on the Internet, Reuters reports.

Hong Kong attracts large numbers of Chinese tourists, many on shopping trips in search of luxury and name-brand goods at discount prices.

"An undated video clip currently circulating on the Internet shows a Hong Kong tour guide allegedly abusing a group of visitors from the Chinese mainland and forcing them to shop, triggering a backlash from the mainland public," says the Xinhua news agency.

According to the reports, budget tour packages in Hong Kong often include a stop at shops that give a kick-back to the tour company (a common practice in many countries), and guides have become increasingly aggressive in urging visitors to buy.

Hong Kong tourism authorities have pledged to tighten the rules to protect travelers. Chinese officials are seeking additional measures.

The" forced to shop" issue has already resulted in one death. In May, a 65-year-old tourist from Hunan Province died from a heart attack in Hong Kong, after arguing with a tour guide trying to coerce him into buying, Xinhua says.

Photo, Trodel, flickr
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