The Compliance Committee of the TIC today (21 June) unanimously endorsed its panel meeting’s decision to terminate the TIC membership of Win’s Travel Agency Limited at a full meeting. Win’s Travel Agency may file an appeal with the TIC’s Appeal Board within 14 days, that is before 5 July, after receiving the notification of its penalty, and its TIC membership will remain valid pending the appeal.
The Compliance Committee held a panel meeting on 19 June to deliberate a case where a visitor from the mainland died after arguing with a tourist guide in late May. The panel meeting unanimously decided to impose a fine of HK$7,000 on Win’s Travel Agency, the travel agent responsible for providing reception services, for having assigned a non-Tourist Guide Pass holder to receive inbound visitors. The panel meeting also unanimously decided to severely penalise the travel agent and terminate its TIC membership for having failed to verify that the tourist guide held a valid Tourist Guide Pass and for having taken actions likely to raise doubts about its integrity, which gravely damaged the reputation and image of Hong Kong tourism.
According to established procedures of the Compliance Committee, any one of the following four penalties imposed by its panel meetings must be endorsed by a full meeting: issuance of a reprimand to a travel agent; imposition of the requirement on a travel agent to undertake to comply with TIC rules (failing which termination of membership will ensue); suspension of membership; and termination of membership.
The Compliance Committee, its convenor an independent director, has a majority of non-trade members, and its panel meetings must also have a majority of non-trade members. The Appeal Board is composed of trade and non-trade members. Each of its meetings must have five members, three of whom must come from outside the trade, with the meeting chairman being a non-trade member.