A panel of five directors of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) met today (21 February), and decided to invoke Articles 11(5)(h)(i) and (ii) of the TIC’s Articles of Association to summarily suspend the membership of 3A Holidays Co. Limited (3A Holidays) until the completion of the TIC’s investigation, by which time the panel will meet again to make a further decision.
Despite the TIC’s repeated requests for detailed explanations from 3A Holidays, which had been involved in several complaints filed by inbound tour groups from the mainland during the Chinese New Year holiday, the travel agent had been far from cooperative all along. The TIC’s Board of Directors therefore had decided at its meeting on 19 February to invoke Article 11(5)(b) to require Mr Wong Wing Kin, the authorised person and director of 3A Holidays, to attend in person an investigation hearing to be conducted by the panel today at 10am sharp, and bring along all the relevant documents in order to account for and explain what had happened.
Since Mr Wong did not turn up at the hearing at the required time, the panel decided after careful deliberation that 3A Holidays was in breach of Article 11(5)(h)(i) on the grounds that sufficient notice had been given to Mr Wong of 3A Holidays and that he should have fully understood the Board’s requirement that he attend today’s investigation hearing.
The panel also considered that the business practice of 3A Holidays has gravely damaged the reputation and image of both Hong Kong and its tourism industry, and that 3A Holidays has shown a serious lack of integrity because, as a travel agent providing reception services, it failed to provide and/or confirm accommodation for its tour groups even though the provision of accommodation was its basic duty, and it has been uncooperative with the TIC’s investigation all along. In view of the public interest, the panel found 3A Holidays in violation of Article 11(5)(h)(ii).
The panel decided to summarily suspend the membership of 3A Holidays until a further decision is made upon the completion of the investigation on grounds of the concurrent violation of Articles 11(5)(h)(i) and (ii) by the travel agent.