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Leaders call for good business practice

Travel-industry troubles with mainland tourists must not give rise to tension

Leaders call for good business practice
Lutheran Bishop Nicholas Tai, chairperson of the Hong Kong Christian Council, urges honest business practice reporter, Hong Kong
Hong Kong

February 18, 2011

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Christian leaders in Hong Kong have urged business owners to run their operations with honesty and to diminish feelings of hatred between rich and poor. Lutheran Bishop Nicholas Tai Ho-fai, chairman of the Hong Kong Christian Council, made the appeal in his speech in the Chinese New Year gathering of the Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong. “Any business owner who wants to establish a brand with goodwill needs to be honest,” the bishop said, citing a Confucius saying: “A noble man makes his wealth in just and ethical means.” A recent physical conflict between a local tour guide and some tourists from mainland China has affected the image of Hong Kong's tourism industry, he noted. The latest incident happened during Chinese New Year  and ended up in court. Both parties were fined HKD1,000 (USD130) and on one-year probation. The society has criticized some local travel agencies who offer a so-called “zero-price tour” to attract mainland tourists to Hong Kong. Tourists pay nothing or very little to join such a tour while the travel agencies make profit through their purchases. The tour guides thus often urge the tourists to purchase at designated shops to make a living. Many complaints have been heard on forced purchases, or misleading tourists to costly purchases on copycat commodities. Accumulating wealth through questionable business practices would bring confusion to society and might create hatred feeling between the rich and the poor, Bishop Tai said, noting that integrity is the founding stone of a harmonious society. Hatred arising from the widening rich-and-poor gap was also a concern among the other colloquium leaders of Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Islam, Protestantism and Taoism. Father Edward Chau King-fun thinks that the government should take note of people’s concern on the escalating property price if the society is to look for harmony. “It is a blessing only if everyone could have a place to live and a job,” said the Catholic representative of the colloquium secretariat. HK13341.1641
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