Police are investigating a travel agent after a tourist was beaten to death, possibly for not doing enough shopping while on holiday.
Miao Chunqi, 54, a tourist from mainland China, was allegedly dragged out of a Hong Kong jewellery shop and beaten unconscious last week in what was said to have been “a shopping dispute”. He died the following day.
Police are investigating a Hong Kong travel agency over the matter.
Hong Kong’s tourism watchdog, the Travel Industry Council, wants to know how much tourists paid to join the tour, the South China Morning Post reported.
Council chairman Michael Wu Siu-ieng said the council was checking whether reports that the tour cost just CNY 300 (AUD 65.50) were correct. He said CNY 300 would seem an excessively low price.
Tourists from the Chinese mainland are sometimes lured into joining very low-cost tours to Hong Kong that include compulsory visits to shopping outlets.
Unscrupulous mainland tour operators apparently collect commission from the Hong Kong shops involved, to make up for the low tour fees. In a new lurk, some mainland agencies are said to be hiring “shadow tour members”, who blend in and seem like members of the tour group, but whose job is to persuade other visitors to buy more during their trips.
Ill feeling and disputes often result.
Two men – one from Hong Kong and the other a tour group leader from mainland China – have been arrested over Miao’s death. Police are also seeking two other suspects.
Written by Peter Needham