Travel Industry Bill

Travel Industry Bill

The Travel Industry Bill (the Bill) has been passed in the LegCo after a 20-month scrutiny.  The passage of the Bill represents the kick off of the setting up of the Travel Industry Authority (TIA).  Below are the key points of the Bill for your reference:


  1. The establishment of TIA represents the end of the dual-track mode of regulation of the Travel Agents Registry and the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC).  TIA will be the sole authority to issue licences and regulate travel agents, tourist guides and tour escorts.
  2. TIA will have investigation and enforcement power on complaints about unlicensed travel agents, tourist guides and tour escorts.  It will be a criminal offence if verified or not co-operate during investigation.
  3. Extend the regulation to online travel agents.  All travel agents will not be required to have operating premises.
  4. Newly open travel agents will require to deposit $500,000 guarantee money and to appoint an authorized representative (AR).  If a travel agent contravenes the requirements of the new Ordinance, not only may the licensee be held legally liable, its AR may also be held criminally liable.
  5. There will be a seed fund to subsidy the initial set-up and operation of TIA.  The Government has guaranteed not to raise outbound levies and license fees for the first 5 years.
  6. Levy will be imposed even customers purchase travel products of the same journey in more than one transaction.  Waiver of liability applies when travel agents comply with certain administrative measures.


I also expressed the following views in meetings:

  1. I strongly against the amendments made by Mr Luk Chung-hung that requested travel agents should have employment relationships with part-time tour escorts and tourist guides.  Luk's amendments were voted down finally.
  2. TIA will run on a self-financing basis in the long run.  I suggested the seed fund of TIA should be raised from 350 million to 500 million to lessen the financial burden of TIA.  In the case of financial affluence, extend the guarantee period of not increase license fees and outbound levies from 5 years to 10 years.
  3. I suggested TIA to give priority to employ the 60 TIC staff as to keep the continuity in supervision.


Preliminary time-table for the establishment of the TIA


My Speeches in Second Reading and Third Reading

Speeches in the capacity as the Chairman of the Bills Committee as well as on behalf of myself


My views on the clauses with no amendment


My views on Mr Luk Chung-hung’s amendments


My views on the Government’s amendments


Speech in third reading


Relevant Information on Bills Committee on Travel Industry Bill