Handling of complaints from inbound travellers (general complaints)

Note: This form is for general complaints only. For complaints about refunds, please download the Complaint Form for Refunds and send the completed form back to the TIC Executive Office by post or by fax.

  1. Preamble

    With a view to improving the service standard of Hong Kong's receiving agents and protecting the interests of inbound travellers, the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) has set up the Inbound Department and two committees to handle complaints lodged by inbound travellers.

  2. Scope of complaints to be handled

    1. The travel agent being complained about shall be a member of the TIC.
    2. The complaint shall be related to the travel services provided by the member agent.
    3. The complaint shall be lodged with the TIC within 30 days from the date of the incident.
    4. The complainant shall be directly involved in the case.
    5. The complaint case shall not be under legal proceedings.

  3. Points to note when lodging a complaint

    1. Inbound travellers shall provide the following information when lodging a complaint with the TIC:
      1. the name, the address or contact number in Hong Kong, the date of departure, and the correspondence address / telephone number / fax number / email address of the complainant in his / her place of residence;
      2. the name, the address and the telephone number of the member agent concerned;
      3. information about the travel services being complained about (e.g. the tour name, date of arrival, name and contact number of the tour guide, etc.)
      4. details of the case; and
      5. the settlement requested. If compensation is demanded, justification should be given and relevant supporting documents provided (e.g. a copy of the tour itinerary, the receipt issued by the overseas/mainland China travel agent, etc.).

    2. The complainant may write a complaint letter or complete the complaint form provided by the TIC, which should be submitted with a copy of the receipts and other relevant documents (e.g. the tour itinerary) to the TIC by post, by fax (3475-0650), by email ( [email protected] ) or in person. The complainant may request that the complaint form be sent to him/her by fax or by post, or download it from the TIC website at www.tichk.org , where an online complaint form may be completed.

    3. If assistance is needed for completion of the complaint form, the complainant should first have the information and documents specified in paragraph 1 ready. The details of the complaint mentioned by the complainant will be recorded for completion of the complaint form by staff of the TIC Executive Office. The completed complaint form will be sent within seven working days by fax or by post to the complainant, who needs to sign it to confirm the details of the complaint before the TIC begins to handle the complaint.

    4. If the complainant files a complaint with the TIC while he/she is in Hong Kong, he/she should have the information and the relevant documents mentioned in paragraph 1 ready in order for staff of the TIC Executive Office to offer immediate assistance and take follow-up actions.

    5. If the complainant authorises others to lodge a complaint, an authorisation letter is required.

    6. For the sake of fairness, if the complaint case is referred to the relevant Committee for consideration, the complainant and the parties concerned shall not attempt to contact or influence members of the Committee before or after the meeting at which the case is considered; otherwise, the TIC will stop handling the case.

  4. Complaint handling procedures of the TIC Executive Office

    1. If a complaint is filed with the TIC by the complainant while he/she is in Hong Kong, the TIC Executive Office will mediate between the complainant and the travel agent concerned for a settlement in the hope that the complaint can be resolved before the complainant leaves Hong Kong. If the complainant cannot reach a settlement with the travel agent, he/she may request the TIC Executive Office to continue to follow up the case after he/she leaves Hong Kong.

    2. If a complaint is filed with the TIC in writing via letter, fax or email by the complainant after he/she has left Hong Kong, the TIC Executive Office will verify all the information provided and notify the complainant within three working days whether the case is accepted. If it is accepted, the TIC Executive Office will look into it, and write to the travel agent, tourist guide and registered shop concerned asking them to provide a written explanation each within 21 days. The TIC Executive Office will then send the written explanations to the complainant, and try to help the parties concerned to reach a settlement.

    3. If the travel agent or tourist guide concerned is suspected of violating TIC rules, or if the registered shop concerned is suspected of violating its own pledges made to the TIC, then the case will be referred to the Compliance Committee or the Committee on Shopping-related Practices of the TIC for deliberation. If the committees, which have at least 50% non-trade members, decide that there is a breach of TIC rules or a violation of pledges, the travel agent, tourist guide or registered shop will be disciplined, and the name of the travel agent and the registered shop concerned, together with the rules or pledges violated, will be posted on the TIC website.