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Codes and Regulations

Code of Business Practice on Study Tours

Code of Business Practice on Study Tours and Exchange Tours (revised)

(the same as Directive No. 242)

1. Definition
(1) "Study tour" or "exchange tour" refers to any package tour which satisfies the following conditions:
(a) its tour participants are mostly people under the age of 18; and
(b) its activities mainly include language learning; education activities; cultural, academic or knowledge exchanges; skills training; enhancement of life experience; outdoor classroom or sightseeing activities for the purposes of broadening its participants' horizons; etc.
(2) "Tour participants' representative" refers to the parents or guardians of tour participants or the tour organisers.
(3) "Tour-accompanying helper" refers to people who depart with the study tour or exchange tour and who take care of the tour participants during the journey.
2. Tour brochures of study tours or exchange tours
(1) Members shall register the tour brochures of study tours or exchange tours in accordance with applicable rules and such brochures shall include, apart from information as required by applicable rules, the following information:
(a) documentation issued by the receiving organisations at the destination confirming the provision of reception services for the tour group;
(b) schedules, the content of which shall include such information as the time, venues, etc of classes;
(c) information on accommodation, including:
(i) type of accommodation: e.g. host families, dormitories, holiday camps, hotels, etc;
  (ii) address of accommodation (if applicable); and
(iii) room arrangements: e.g. room types, etc;
(d) the ratios of different kinds of tour-accompanying helpers to tour participants and the duties of such tour-accompanying helpers; and
(e) information on the districts where the host families live (if applicable).
(2) For study tours or exchange tours which stay at host families, members shall provide the TIC at least three days before departure (excluding the day of departure) with such information as the exact addresses, contact telephone numbers and brief descriptions of members of the host families.
(3) If members and organisers of study tours or exchange tours (e.g. local schools) are responsible for providing different services for the tours, members shall specify in their documentation filed with the TIC the services to be provided by each party.
(4) The tour brochures of study tours or exchange tours are exempted from registration if they are charter tours.
(5) Members shall provide the brochures of study tours or exchange tours for the tour participants or their representatives before they sign up for the tours.
3. Alteration of arrangements
(1) Before the departure of study tours or exchange tours, if any of their arrangements is altered, members shall immediately notify the tour participants or their representatives and the TIC of such alterations. If the tour participants or their representatives accept the alterations, members shall request them to sign documentation for confirmation; and if they do not accept, members shall cancel the tours and handle the transactions in accordance with applicable rules.
(2) After the departure of study tours or exchange tours, -
(a) if any of their arrangements for accommodation is altered, members shall immediately notify the tour participants or their representatives and the TIC of such alterations, and pay 15% of the tour fare to each of the tour participants as compensation unless such alterations are made for reasons beyond control or at the request of the tour participants or their representatives; and
(b) if any of their arrangements other than those for accommodation is altered, members shall handle such alterations in accordance with applicable rules.
4. Comprehensive travel insurance
(1) Members shall ensure that all the tour participants of study tours or exchange tours are covered by comprehensive travel insurance, and shall not allow those who are not covered by such insurance to join the tours.
(2) The scope of comprehensive travel insurance shall include medical cover, personal accident cover and emergency assistance, and cover all the activities (including self-pay activities) of study tours or exchange tours.
(3) If the tour fare includes comprehensive travel insurance, members shall provide the tour participants or their representatives with information on its scope of cover.
5. Confirmation
(1) Members shall request the tour participants or their representatives to sign a confirmation form for acceptance of all arrangements listed in the information of study tours or exchange tours and for undertaking to observe all tour booking conditions.
(2) On the confirmation form, members may request the tour participants or their representatives to authorise them to decide how to handle emergencies during the journey.
6. Tour-accompanying helpers
(1) Members shall assign at least one tour-accompanying helper who holds a valid Tour Escort Pass issued by the TIC to each tour.
(2) If the tour group is travelling on two or more tour coaches, members shall assign at least one tour-accompanying helper who holds a valid Tour Escort Pass to each tour coach, except for such reasons as to arrange for the tour participants to travel on different coaches in order to communicate with international students.
7. Others
(1) If members arrange self-pay activities, they shall ensure that the tour participants or their representatives have determined before departure which activities to join and request them to sign documentation for confirmation and pay the fees for such activities. Members shall not arrange any additional self-pay activities or collect any fees after departure.
(2) The tour fares of study tours or exchange tours shall include service charges. Members shall not collect any extra charges from tour participants or their representatives.